A formidable comeback, this overdue second set finds its makers firing on all cylinders.
Rory McConnell 2012
It’s been over four years since Fighting With Wire released their debut album, Man vs Monster, and with it attracted a flurry of comparisons to rock legends Nirvana and Foo Fighters. So what has the Derry trio done to stifle further similarities to the grunge greats with the release of their second album, Colonel Blood?
Well, not much. This album showcases the Fighting With Wire we’ve been expecting ever since their debut, and the enormous amount of live shows they’ve performed in the gap between albums have doubtlessly influenced its fiery sound.
Colonel Blood is truly ferocious at times. A great example of this energy is heard on Waiting on a Way to Believe, which is about as perfect an album opener as one could hope for. From track to track singer Cahir O’Doherty draws melody out of the most surprising places: on Erase You, he turns the angriest music into pretty pop that Weezer would envy.
It’d have been easy for Fighting With Wire to stick to formulaic arrangements – after all, they handle the meat and potatoes stuff with considerable aplomb. But Colonel Blood has some nice surprises along the way. Graduate sounds like it’s been swimming pleasantly around your head for years, while Plug Me In nearly has a disco swing to it before kicking into an unashamed clap-along chorus.
This is the album that Fighting With Wire needed to make, and it leaves them with a few choices as to where they can go with album three. Now an accepted part of the Xtra Mile family after an aborted deal with Atlantic, it feels like they’ve found their home at last. If the music continues to be written with such quality and passion, while keeping the energy of Colonel Blood, then the future is theirs for the taking.