44 Fires and the Sunday Service on TBFM Internet Radio have been closely linked since the show started, Brian sent me over a few tracks when we announced we were going live and both Corporate Lies & Propaganda Master were aired on our second ever show on Sunday 17th June 2012.
These two tracks as well as Wake have been aired regularly on my shows ever since and when Brian contacted me recently to tell me that the band were going into the studio to record some new tracks I cheekily asked if I could have a “sneak preview” of the new material once completed.
Last night the 3 tracks arrived in my inbox, “Army Beside Me”, “Idiot” & “Freedom”, my immediate reaction on hearing them was WOW (well I actually thought F****K) but thought I’d best be polite.
“Army Beside Me” kicks in with an infectious guitar groove by Jamie accompanied by Aaron on drums & Tony on Bass, Brians vocals more spoken word than song get straight to the point, urging the listener to question the system and the establishment, this track grabs you and holds you from start to finish. The subtle introduction of the marching feet sound effect towards the end of the track conjures up images from Pink Floyds “The Wall” but with a modern twist.
“Idiot” is a more “traditional” rock track, punchy rhythm and clipped guitar work brilliantly with the vocals, the chorus becomes a chant against the sheep like mentality of today’s society, powerful but with a sense of humour or perhaps irony in the delivery.
“Freedom” is a gem of a track, a simple acoustic introduction that gradually builds with the addition of the rhythm section, there is an ebb and flow to the track that grabs your attention and holds it. Brian growls passionately through the opening two verses before the chorus kicks you in the teeth, I can see this track generating a lot of passionate air punching and chanting of the chorus when the band start performing it live.
While the tracks that the band originally submitted to the show were good musically the production quality left a lot to be desired and any messages they conveyed were somewhat dampened down as a result. On hearing the 3 new tracks I was amazed at how big an improvement there has been to the overall production quality, Jamie and Phil at JBJ Studios have captured the bands style perfectly, I hope this relationship between band and studio continues with future material. From what Brian has told me the existing 6 tracks are to be re-mastered and added to these 3 new numbers for an upcoming album which will be available for digital download once complete.
44 Fires describe themselves as a “Hard and Heavy Political Band” this is true and they have never tried to disguise that but the listener should also bear in mind that these are songs of protest not incitement, they certainly urge you to question our current society but it would be wrong to view them as potential anthems for civil unrest.
44 Fires are:
Brian Small – Vocals
Jay Franklin – Guitar
Tony Hampton – Bass
Aaron Beard – Drums