Firestarter
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Firestarter

Albany, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Albany, NY
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Punk

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"Album Review: Firestarter – ‘A Life Inconsistent’ EP"

Albany based pop-punk band Firestarter brings another energetic and passionate release to the pop-punk community with their new EP, A Life Inconsistent. This “short but sweet” three-song release from the quartet will leave listeners begging for more with upbeat and fast guitar riffs paired, heart-on-sleeve lyrics and a sound that blends the sounds of late ’90s/early ’00s pop punk to the more contemporary sound of pop punk.

A Life Inconsistent starts out strong with the track entitled “Troubled Existence.” The track features a clean sounding guitar riff that is dressed with a phaser/flanger that brings to mind Blink 182. The song quickly jumps into a double time passage displaying the pop punk sound Firestarter has made a name on. The bass line in the middle of this song that leads to the build up also reminiscent of Blink 182.

“Worth the Wait” has a more contemporary pop-punk sound. The song is slower and more tamed compared to “Troubled Existence,” and sounds like this track in particular had taken some inspiration from The Story So Far.

“Headstones and Old Bones” is not only a catchy and fast song, but also can appeal to the easycore crowd with chugging, staccato guitar passages, gang vocals and a tight, pulsing bass line. The intro vocals to this song sound similar to the work of Mayday Parade in the early part of their career.

The production sounds absolutely amazing for this release. All the instruments are at an even volume level, in terms of the mix, and the guitars sound very crisp and powerful. The vocals on this EP also sound very pristine as well. Firestarter definitely invested in top tier production for this independent release.

A Life Inconsistent is a solid independent release. Firestarter may not be that well known currently in the music scene, but the band is definitely “the next big thing” in terms of pop punk. (Matthew Saunders) - New Noise Magazine


"ALBUM REVIEW: Firestarter ‘A Life Inconsistent’"

Albany, New York pop punk foursome Firestarter are getting ready to release their third EP titled A Life Inconsistent on June 23rd. While the pop punk genre is hard to peg down to one specific sound, Firestarter have been able to find a category all their own. The only way to perfectly describe their style would be “pessimistic optimism.” Their songs mention the terrible side of life, but will follow up with words of motivation. They don’t dwell on being sad, they just acknowledge its existence and try to move forward. A Life Inconsistent, even though it is only three songs, shows you multiple sides of the band in three-minute showcases.

The EP opens with “Troubled Existence,” a song that has the most disconnect to a normal “pop punk” sound. Everything is a little darker – the guitar tones are a little deeper and the lyrics are the least optimistic out of the three songs. While no obvious silver lining is presented on this track, I feel like “Troubled Existence” was used as a collective show-off for the guys. Each member has a moment or two where they give the listener a taste of what they’re bringing to the table. Matthew LaPerche not only gives an incredible vocal performance, he also shows off his phenomenal rhyming style lyricism. The rhyme scheme is very straightforward, yet it doesn’t always go in the direction you’d expect. Guitarist Tyler McMullen and bassist Jeff Henlin each have their moment in the spotlight. McMullen is consistent throughout the track, but every now and again, you’ll hear him tearing off an insane and perfectly timed riff. Henlin shines the brightest right before the bridge – the other instrumentals slowly fade out and all that’s left is a menacing bassline. You get a feel for Matt Bliss’s punchy drum style the second the song starts up. He never lets up the entirety of the song with crashing cymbals and kick drums beats that hit straight to the core.

“Worth The Wait” brings a true pop punk feel to the EP. It’s the most fun song on the album and full of optimism. LaPerche opens the track with these words: There’s one thing I must say/ Uncertainty in life is not okay. As you continue on, the lyrics will teach you that even though life may deal you a terrible hand from time to time, you’ll get through it. You have friends to pick you up and make things a little better. And even though you aren’t where you think you’re supposed to be right this second, there’s always something that’s “worth the wait” right around the corner. It’s such an amazing concept that most of us tend to forget. We are constantly looking for instant gratification, and this song explains that that is not always going to happen. We must be patient to be happy.

The EP concludes with the first single, “Headstones & Old Bones.” This track perfectly embodies the idea of “pessimistic optimism.” The theme is similar to that of the previous song – life isn’t fair and you have to accept that in order to grow. If you focus on the negative and refuse to make the most of life, you’re going to look back on your life and feel nothing but regret. The feelings of regret from not trying are going to hurt way more than failing a few times while living a full life. The power that each member brings forward during this track adds to impact of the words. You can feel them pushing, not only themselves but us listening as well, to live by the lyrics with every note and chord played. One thing that caught my attention came up in the closing verse. LaPerche is rattling off more words of inspiration and the phrase “forget the past” pops up. Now I don’t know if that was an intentional nod to their previous EP with the same name or not, but it made me smile. To me, contrary to this EP’s title, it showed consistence amongst their work. - Infectious Magazine


"Pop punk band Firestarter announce tour with Living Means"

Up-and-coming pop punk band Firestarter have announced an East Coast tour with Living Means. Check out the dates below, and nab a ticket here.

"We're looking forward to getting back out on the road after taking a few months off and seeing some of the northeast we haven't in awhile," Firestarter says. "Thrilled to be doing this with an awesome up and coming band by the name of Living Means and we are very excited to say we will be playing a brand new song off our upcoming full length at every date as well!"

Firestarter have shared the stage with the likes of Less Than Jake, Bayside, Senses Fail, Set It Off, State Champs, Transit, Hit The Lights, Handguns and more. The band's newest EP, A Life Inconsistent, which was produced by Jay Maas (Counterparts, Defeater, State Champs), is out now. Listen to the Spotify stream below the dates.

Dates:
6/3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Smokey's Regal Estate
6/4 - Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar
6/5 - Long Branch, NJ @ Brighton Bar
6/21 - Binghamton, NY @ Magic City Music Hall *
6/22 - Troy, NY @ Mountain View Fire House *
6/23 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Black Forge Coffehouse *
6/24 - Mays Landing, NJ @ Mays Landing VFW Post 220 *
6/25 - Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall (Matinee Show) *
6/26 - Stanhope, NJ @ Stanhope House *

* = indicates show with Living Means - Alternative Press


"POZ Review: Firestarter - Forget The Past"

It can be slightly overwhelming trying to sort through this up-and-coming generation of pop punk bands, especially when it seems like there are new bands popping up every single day.

So, where does one even begin?

Clearly, Albany is a pretty good place to start. The city, located in upstate New York, is home to State Champs, whose album The Finer Things is easily one of the best pop punk releases in recent years. And now it brings us Firestarter, a relatively young band whose sound far exceeds its youth.

Firestarter has only been around for a couple of years, but their new record, Forget The Past, offers six tracks that sound as though the group has been playing together for much longer. The band weaves soaring melodies throughout every song, set against a backdrop of brazen guitars and self-assured drumming that quickly gets the blood boiling.

The band comes out with guns blazing in title track “Forget The Past.” It’s a warm and energetic lesson in moving forward, building to a refrain of echoing gang vocals that insist: “forget the past/Your memories aren’t built to last.” The song closes with a hazy guitar melody that fades away like the memories the band encourages listeners to let go of.

Follow up “Who You Used To Be” has all the driving force of “Forget The Past,” while showcasing the band’s knack for layering brighter melodies over brusque chords and compelling drums. The past is still a major theme; this time Firestarter shows a yearning for days gone by, acknowledging the fact that people change, and not always for the better.

Forget The Past starts strong and ends even stronger – “Woodlawn” and closer “Lost & Found” display a surprising and unexpected level of maturity. “Woodlawn” is the album’s quietest and most pensive track, a vast change from the otherwise unyielding pace. The absence of drums leaves it open and bare, an aching attempt to come to terms with losing a loved one (“The day you left/This world for another kind/Cost me so much pain/That I could never describe”). But it’s the slight wavering in the vocals, the frank and heartfelt tone that permeates each note, that makes “Woodlawn” one of Firestarter’s best songs yet.

Picking up where “Woodlawn” leaves off, “Lost & Found” opens quietly before jolting listeners back into the explosive energy of the earlier tracks. It is the final measures, though, that are the most captivating of the all-too-brief album. The song’s hollowed bridge of well-crafted gang vocals and subtle harmonics slowly fades into boxy drums that end the album in a truly memorable manner.

At just under 20 minutes, Forget The Past is long enough to give listeners a taste of what Firestarter is all about but it ends up being terribly unsatisfying. This album is a tease of what’s to come from a band that’s already proven to be worth a second, third, and even fourth listen to. - Property of Zack


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

“Have you ever just packed everything you own, and left somewhere you’ve known for so long and traded it in for the unknown” singer/guitarist Matt LaPerche croons on “49 Stow” – these are the words Firestarter was built on when LaPerche moved to Albany for a fresh start. The group, also consisting of Mike Held (guitar), Daniel Sheehan (bass), and Matt Bliss (drums), came together in the fall of 2012. They hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. In just over two years, Firestarter has released three EP’s -  2013’s New Beginnings, 2014’s Forget The Past, and 2015’s A Life Inconsistent - a split 7” with Orlando’s Old Again, and toured the United States extensively in support of all of them. On top of that, Firestarter has shared the stage with the likes of Less Than Jake, Bayside, Senses Fail, Set It Off, State Champs, Transit, Hit The Lights, Handguns, and many others.

Firestarter has no plan of stopping now. After recently releasing a new digital EP, entitled A Life Inconsistent, recorded by Jay Maas (Counterparts, Defeater, State Champs), Firestarter looks to expand on their already growing fan base and continue their heavy touring regiment. Keep on eye out for a full length on the horizon and even more touring from the Albany quartet in the near future.

Band Members