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Fireworks Night – One Winter, One Spring

Fireworks Night, One Winter, One Spring

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

FIREWORKS Night are a fascinating oddity… but not always a successful one.
New album One Winter, One Spring is, by turns, highly engaging and instrumentally adventurous and also slow and curiously restrained.

It includes violin, viola and acoustic guitar, as well as a sometimes kick-ass rhythm section, and a distinct vocalist in James Lesslie. But they defy easy comparison and are resolutely trying to offer something different.

Early on, this leads to a great deal of excitement, with album opener Settle Down thriving upon its rich mix of violins (from Rhiannon Armstrong), pianos, finger-click beats and striking vocals.

It’s a song that celebrates Fireworks Night’s love of a good chorus as well as their love of a compelling narrative and it suggests the possibility of a classic.

It’s followed by the similarly appealing Here The Roses, which reigns in the instrumentals and keeps them simmering… a little violin here, a little brooding there, and an almost jazzy vibe to offset the chamber pop overtones of the opener.
But the more experimental and playful things become, the less coherent they feel.

Title track One Winter, One Spring weaves an interesting tale but, again, requires patience and never ignites instrumentally in the way you think it should, almost as if they’re giving Lesslie too much breathing space vocally.

Across The Sea makes a similar mistake, the acoustic backdrop appearing as lovingly constructed, but the vocals actually proving an unwanted distraction… as does A Little Time In The Light.

Indeed, there are several moments late on that rely too heavily on Lesslie (including That Easy Way and Only The Night), thereby draining several of the songs of the life that was so apparent in the opening salvo.

It’s then that Fireworks Night fail to provide the fizzle, the sparkle, the bangs that their name suggests. And it’s then that the album becomes more of an acquired taste… but one that in playing to the distinct qualities of its singer, also seems to ‘forget’ the talents of those around him.

And while there’s a sense of the theatrical surrounding moments such as God’s Luck in the way the instrumentals provide an atmospheric backdrop, the patience required to reach the really good stuff (on that track, in particular) is sometimes too much.

One Winter, One Spring therefore flatters to deceive to the point of being annoying.

Download picks: Settle Down, Here The Roses, Amongst The Disappeared

Track listing:

  1. Settle Down
  2. Here The Roses
  3. One Winter, One Spring
  4. Across The Sea
  5. A Little Time In The Light
  6. God’s Luck
  7. Amongst The Disappeared
  8. Broken Bottles
  9. That Easy Way
  10. Only The Night