With two EPs and a sampler already under their belt, Under Fire may be a newer band, but that does not make them foreigners to releasing to new music.
Their new Blackout EP follows the direction their previous releases have aimed the band as a more refined pop-punk sound by incorporating more intricate guitar work, and vocals with a wider range and a deeper passion. The title track opens the EP with a punch in the form of a call-out song. The use of a spoken-word bridge is nothing new in the pop punk scene, but is tastefully used to twist the knife put in place by the verses. “Set Adrift” is more of a self call-out, but reassuring listeners the writer “won’t back out,” — a continuing theme found in “Lone Wolf.” “Renegade” covers the topic of not seeing eye to eye with someone, while “Paralyzed” is a tale of a lost fling, idolizing a lover, hoping they’ll return. Lyrically, Under Fire is relatable and more sophisticated than most pop punk bands, however, I’ll be waiting patiently for their next release, which will hopefully cover more topics. All in all, Under Fire aren’t bringing anything new to the pop punk scene with their Blackout EP, but that should in no way diminish their value or potential.
Overall: Under Fire has a ways to go before they find their own sound in the pop punk scene. While Blackout is a testament that they are on the right path, it may take another release or two before they can truly stun listeners.
Review by Shane Haley