After Lee Wylding and Johnny C left Warped in 2007, having played together for the better part of a decade, they teamed up with Andrea Packer. The trio, calling Runcorn home, combined their talents under the name The Fireflys. The Fireflys released Better To Burn Out in 2009 to an overwhelming iTunes success. They’ve recently released Cathedral For Your Ashes via Canadia Records.
Like a British version of Rage Against the Machine, The Fireflys have taken to the world with their unique perspective and it pours out of every chord, lyric and beat. Ok, in all fairness, don’t go looking for David Beckham playing with Tom Morello or Zack de la Rocha, because you won’t find them. Instead, the similarities are in the ethic and stance; because, firstly no one wants any more David Beckham and secondly The Fireflys don’t try to replicate a sound. Keeping their art close to them the trio combines a strong politically charged stance with up-front lyrics. They take great pride in this and it shows. Combine it with some smooth catchy licks, flowing bass riffs and a badass female drummer and they’ve produced success in a can.
Their ten track sophomore release Cathedral For Your Ashes is more than simply another album from another band across the pond. Rather, the album speaks a language in both lyrics and instruments that gives voice to the voiceless and a soundtrack to often ignored. Leading off in a post-grunge/Alt-Rock (“Ashes [No Revolution]” and “Jenny, Play Your Guitar”) style you’d believe we were in for a resurgence of late 90’s rock. As exciting as it is, it soon develops into sound within itself. Up front, Wylding’s vocals took me by surprise. Without falling flat or seeming off key, they dance between the heartfelt instrumentals with dignity and originality. His unique delivery is part of what makes The Fireflys a standout. There is weather and experience in each word, effectively eliminating the need for excessive range or throat bursting shrieks. Each track plays to an identifiable sound in a way that makes the album an experience rather than ten tracks of different words under the same three chords. These three are very talented and they won’t boast it. Their music does the talking. They’ve done right by keeping things simple, not over-producing, and letting their talent do the work. Case in point, “Rolling River;” the track opens with a heavy handed beat over layered guitar. Feeling catchy and mainstream, you’ll be caught off guard thinking you’ve pinpointed it. At 2:18, lingering on a faded word by Wylding, Johnny C and Packer come in to infuse a funky breakdown sure to get your blood pumping.
The Fireflys stretch into themselves and justify their prior success with a solid follow up to Better To Burn Out. This is one British band that proves there is more across the pond than Keane, Coldplay and anything else the big labels can convince people to like. These three prove that hard work pays off. Their work ethic and passion is at the forefront of their sound. The Fireflys are a musician’s band.