How often does a band truly build a name for themselves before ever, truly, breaking into the scene? Named #1 unsigned band by Dee Snider and Johnny K, as well as placing 2nd in Linkin Park/Lenovo Labs/Stagelight “Monthly Music Contest,” there was clearly something different from the start for MN alternative rock quartet, Fire Fight. Their debut EP, Transitions and resulting music video for “The Ghost Inside” saw a big push and catapulted them into the limelight, though. That spotlight grew much brighter when they released “Move On,” the first taste of their debut, full-length album Identity and resulted in 2.4 million views with over 50 re-uploads across YouTube. That was just the beginning, though, as Identity could not be a more perfect way to describe the resulting album.
Vocalist Mike Luciano (ex-The Paramedic, BulletTooth/WMG) has a very unique, piercing vocal style that fits well with this type of music. However, while his former band was more in the post-hardcore vein and featured a lot more screaming, Luciano’s clever use of rapped verses, soaring and beautifully anthemic choruses and personal lyrics are what makes these guys stand out, though. From the beginning, melodic plucking of the strings and slight glitches you hear on the title track, “Identity,” the listener will find themselves immediately hooked. This track speaks on the idea of finding yourself, in a world that is constantly disappointed in you. No matter how hard you try, you feel like something is missing and you set out to find what that is. This track is an excellent sample of what the album will offer, as a whole, and sets the pace for what’s to come.
“Speak Up,” with its dual vocal part is still one of my favorite tracks on the album. While more ballad-like in terms of how it comes off musically, it might be one of the most impactful tracks on Identity. There is a looped beat that underlies the bridge, with Luciano and a female vocalist singing, in unison… one of the most beautiful parts of the album. The lyrics here are incredibly relate-able, as well. It expands on the idea brought forth in “Identity” but is much more on the “battle within” side of the struggle. Everyone tells Mike that he’s doing well but he just feels like he’s just not at the level he should be and, thus, is disappointing himself and his fans. I’ve got news for Mike, though… this album is anything but disappointing and the already-received positive things I’ve seen on this album are an indication of that.
I can sit here and talk about each track on the album but it’s not in my nature to do a “track-by-track” review. Each song on the album has its own unique, long-lasting impressions on the listener that may not be apparent at first. It says something when we had only listened to the album once and my little family was already humming along by the 2nd time around. Take that and amplify it by the over 100 times I’ve listened to this album, at this point and you get the idea. Identity is an album that was clearly made for the fans and, with the inclusion of 100’s of pictures of them on the cover art, they make sure that we know it. More than anything, though, these tracks are a testament to honest, heartfelt songwriting on an expert level. Identity was independently released and is available on all streaming services, as well as physical copies and merch in their store via the links below.
Fire Fight are:
Mike Luciano – Vocals
Brooks Bohmbach – Guitar, Vocals
Sam Janski – Guitar
Addison Peck – Bass
Kyle Palma – Drums