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Ringing in the New Year with Fireworks

God damn, I’m happy to hear some new music from Fireworks! The Detroit-based band took a break from releasing music for a while until the first day of 2023 when they unexpectedly dropped their first album since 2014. They have been hinting at an album for over two years now after their last single release, “Demitasse,” in 2019. This new album, Higher Lonely Power, was supposedly going to be released in 2022. Fireworks did have a completed record done at that point, but it just wasn’t the right thing to put out. What is heard on Higher Lonely Power is the most genuine version of the record they could give the world, finished just 3 weeks before release.

The album started with a minute and thirty-six seconds worth of fury and frustration that have been caused by toxic organized religion in “God Approved Insurance Plan.” You just know the ride Fireworks is about to take everyone on is going to be a good one. Throughout this 12-song record, there are elements of the effect of American Christianity, the way capitalism is no good, and a little sense of nostalgia.  

The following songs are tangled up in dreamy synths and guitar playing that gets you in the perfect mood to feel all the feelings. So many lyrics and melodies stand out; all have such a strong impact on this record. Even with taking a break, the band was able to produce a set of songs that feel current. Perfectly settling into the indie alt-rock genre of 2023. No doubt old fans will receive the album well and bring new ones in. It truly is a great re-introduction to the band. 

The second song off the record, “I Wanna Start a Religion With You” is hands down the one that will create such a GREAT vibe in an audience. It’s the song that is going to be sung in the car on full volume. The spacey entrance lets the listener know they will be exploring the Astros with this one. There is always a person you want to have a great connection with, but no matter how hard you try to force it (even metaphysically) it just won’t work.

“Just for once make some time for me, Jesus died at 33,” could be seen as ‘Hey, I won’t live forever, make some time for me! Even Jesus didn’t live forever!’ Another line that needs some light on it is, “I’m alone without you, but I was alone with you too.” 

“Megachurch” is one of the most lyrically honest and evident songs. Most of the songs on this record allow each listener to decide what it means to them. “Megachurch” is the one that slightly differs. It says very plainly that Megachurches have taken over and American Christianity is less about the relationship with God and more about the perception of being perfect and wealthy Christians.

“You don’t have to think too much. We know god’s candidate. Religious freedom won’t be touched. We’ll keep the gays from our children,” indicates that politics are so infused with what is deemed as ‘Christian Values’. That is in fact, just what conservatives consider safe and comfortable. 

“Funeral Plant” is a favorite among a lot of fans: “Prayed to be like everyone else. They found drugs or Jesus and I just had myself. Does anyone really feel anything, anymore, anyway?” This song is going to bring so many people together in a collective experience. 

“Blood in The Milk” is one of the coolest songs on the album, sonically. The chorus starts with the line, “Blood in the milk, pesticides on the honey,” referring to how horrific the treatment of cows is and how the result of that can be blood in the milk. Along the lines of how badly we as humans treat nature, bees are actively being killed by pesticides when they are one of the most important elements of the circle of life. Followed by, “Woke up afraid to die when we used to think it was funny,” instills that there is a fear that many feel because the way of the world is so destructive, it’s worrisome to think about the future. 

The band rounds out the album with “How Did It Use Two Be So Easy?”, a dreamy sound that leads into a happy-sounding chorus, but listening to the lyrics of “ You could be happy without me. How did it use to be so easy?” It turns out to be a sad thought to think about. The melancholy message of the song combined with the light-hearted sound of the music produces a nice ending to an overall lyrically heavy and widespread-sounding album. It is reaching into new territory for Fireworks, and will be an incredible experience to hopefully hear live soon! 

Check out their album on Bandcamp!

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