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Fire In The Radio are back with their third album and it could be hard to compete with their previous two strong releases. However, Monuments stands in a league of its own, carrying their legacy further, from strength to strength. Monuments is a great album, with a compelling mix of alternative rock, indie, and melodic punk.
Opening the record, ‘Let’s Get To The Start’ finds the band going back to basics, merging modern punk rock with a pop sensibility that finds their musical style changed but improved immensely. Following this, ‘Gravity’ is a heavier track, guided by a contrasting melody and breathless production. Then, moving on, ‘Tulare’ is an alternative rock production with indie flavour.
Leading into the fantastic ‘Rewind’, a track that maintains the strong, gradual rise of intensity progressing throughout the album. Elsewhere, ‘I Said’ has a soaring melody, mixing all the band’s influences and coming out with something extremely experimental, yet breathtakingly beautiful.
At its midpoint, the album slows down with ‘This Is My Document’, a ballad with the theme of self-empowerment. Then, Fire in the Radio bring the pace back on ‘Sunday Cassock’, an infectious indie-rock song layered in punk influence. Next, ‘Breaking’ has a darker sound compared to the rest of the album, but still includes a soaring chorus.
Coming to the end of the record, ‘Save Me’ serves as a great closing track. Discussing a battle within, it includes lyrics like, “Save me now, save me from the demons I once called home, I don’t want to be left alone, left alone,” pulling on the listener’s heartstrings and diving deep. It concludes with a haunting outro, leaving a memorable impression. The strong sense of meaning throughout makes Monuments the group’s best release to date.
Lyrically, the band makes excellent progress, furthering their songwriting skills while crafting an unapologetic record. Punk rock grounds each track, but there are still nods to influences like R.E.M., The Cure, and The Hot Shakes.
Musically, the album has elements of new wave, grunge, indie-punk, and shoegaze, but it’s a cohesive piece overall, with memorable standout tracks. Each lyric and note is catchy, and these melodic songs are full of emotional vocals and incredible riffs. Overall, there is enough beneath the surface here to keep the listener coming back again and again.
Whether you’ve heard of Fire in the Radio before or not, Monuments is a great starting point. Fire In The Radio is Richard Carbone, Jonathan Miller, Adam Caldwell, and Ed Olsen.