The Fireworks “Black & Blue” EP (Shelflife)

The Fireworks, since they burst on to the scene, have already done their damnedest to exhaust our vocabulary of superlatives, and ransack our store of synonyms for fizzing or fuzzing or fresh or feral or fabulous (yes, there’s also been a run on alliteration).

The fact we’ve said it all before (hmm, more than once) should allow us to adopt a leaner approach to their new four-track 10” EP, although we’ll dwell long enough to opine that taken as a whole it’s probably a more muscular affair than past outings, if still draped in comforting swathes of reverb and candescent melodies…

Verily the galloping opening tune “All The Time” spits shards of rumbustious irresisti-POP noise, in the vein of past should-have-been hit singles like “Runaround”, but there’s then a change of mood for the more contemplative “The Ghost Of You” – well, the ghosts of a young Tim & Gregory – which infuses seductive tricklings of amplifier hum with chiming Leamington Spa guitars and gently familiar chord sequences and which could be a great lost track from “C87”: indeed, we’d posit that it’s superior to much of what landed on the C87 track listing in the end (though don’t get us wrong, you *must* still buy C87, if only for the first-ever digital outings of “New Breed” and “Tried And Tested Public Speaker”). Yes, the Fireworks have got the blues, and oh how sweet it sounds.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the 10”, proceedings tilt towards the black, and that visceral caress of the early Slumberland sound. “Bury Me” is powerful, Charlottes-like noisepop, arrayed with proto-shoegaze distortion: in its wake comes the deconstructed shambling of the chugging “Goes So Slow”, which fizzles out into looped violin drizzled in sweetly spinning feedback, as if Isnaj Duj were playing Metal Machine Music. Mmmm.

And in my dreams, I hear Meat Whiplash playing Seamonsters. I see the Rosehips checking into the Chelsea Hotel, whilst I sup a sherbet fountain at the bar. I sense Albini readying all things analogue, and seeking to entice the Fireworks into his studio. Things are *happening* right now, my friends, good good things...

Um, yes. Sorry. It’s just that old equation, again: boy likes band, band has new record out, band’s new record makes boy happy, boy "writes" "review". For “Black & Blue” is as dependably ace as the Fireworks’ previous releases (an achievement in itself). In a world that is slowly but surely going fucking mental (not least in the scept'rd isle from which the band and this fanzine both hail), such surefire pick-me-ups are welcome, welcome respite.