Everyone loves a good comeback story.
While intense come-from-behind moments in sporting events usually come to mind, the idea also translates well to the music industry. 2019 has seen its fair share of comebacks, with emo rock giants My Chemical Romance causing the biggest stir with the announcement of their return, sparking a slew of memes and article sharing all over Facebook from a fanbase that never really left in the first place.
Last Thursday, Nov. 7, another group announced their resurgence that demands attention. Through the first tweet the band posted in over two years, former Detroit-based pop-punk giants Fireworks announced their comeback in an incredibly creative way. The tweet only contained a link to higherlonelypower.com. Upon following the link, there’s a four-question survey centered around very metaphysical and existential ideas, with the first of the heavy questions being, “Do you believe a higher power is in control of your life?” Upon completing the survey, eager listeners are able to access the newly released single “Demitasse.”
Almost immediately after giving “Demitasse” a listen, it’s clear that Fireworks have done a lot of growing up and reflecting since the announcement of their indefinite hiatus back in 2015. The single is very slowed down and somber, abandoning any high-tempo hooks fans can experience on records such as Gospel. However, the pipes on vocalist Dave Mackinder are just as effective as ever with the new direction, working wonderfully with the stripped down nature and choir-infused backing vocals on the track.
Since their inception in 2004, Fireworks have continuously pushed the envelope to gain traction in the pop-punk scene by possessing an impeccable balance of up-tempo melodies with vocal styles that were relatively soft around the edges, attracting an audience from both the pop and punk ends of the spectrum, and everyone in-between. The unique style was enough to garner attention from Run for Cover Records, who released their debut EP We Are Everywhere, before the band signed to Triple Crown Records in 2008.
Between the release of their debut LP All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion in 2009 and their third LP Oh, Common Life in 2014, Fireworks shared the stage with artists such as Set Your Goals, Cartel, The Wonder Years, Four Year Strong, and New Found Glory over the years, playing shows across the US, Europe, and Australia. Both the track and music video for “Arrows” off of Gospel is indicative of the group’s creativity, and how their style in the scene demands more attention than just being labeled as another pop-punk band.
A day following the tweet containing the single “Demitasse,” the group announced their fourth album coming in 2020, under the fitting name Higher Lonely Power. With the questions provided in the survey, and the focused and purpose-driven aesthetics in “Demitasse,” it remains clear that Fireworks are looking to push the envelope further into uncharted territory. It can become easy to forget that the life of a musician is taxing, and rest and recovery from tour life are essential elements in order for reflection to occur. While groups all have different reasons for taking a hiatus, or calling it quits entirely, it makes the comeback that much more special if and when they decide to take it.
With My Chemical Romance, Rage Against the Machine, and now Fireworks unveiling plans for new shows and music in 2020, the year is shaping up to be a big one for both long-time fans to get a fix of nostalgia, and new listeners to stumble across their next favorite band.