Fighting With Wire-Colonel Blood

Derry trio Fighting With Wire suffered one of the most undeserved musical career set-backs in recent years when, after considerable early success, their Nick Raskulinecz produced second album was shelved and subsequently unreleased for two years after the recording sessions. Its predecessor, debut Man Vs Monster was one of the most stirring British rock debuts in ages when it was released back in 2008 so for its follow-up to suffer this fate was nothing less than totally frustrating. Luckily a silver lining did appear with the band managing to take back control and British label Xtra Mile stepping in, impressed by the album's merits, and signing the band, readying the album for release. Colonel Blood is an album that's been through hell and the fact that the world finally gets to hear it is nothing short of brilliant.

That we're hearing these songs at all then is great, with the band already cracking on with album three, but even better the record is a great collection of rock songs that pick up perfectly from where their debut left off. Opener Waiting On A Way To Believe is a full-on angular rock assault with frontman Cahir O'Doherty's unique and recognisable razor-melodies coming through immediately on killer hooks like "This system? Take your own advice" before the monumental title-track whisks us up and away with him screaming "You know, you know it's good!" as if he's predicting the future of the record he's singing on. The furious riffs occasionally remind of At The Drive-In, other times early Foo Fighters, while O'Doherty's vocal delivery is utterly cool as fuck and songs like the towering Graduate and huge "woah-woah-woah-woahs" of The Great Escape truly get under the skin. Raskulenicz' production is vast and creates an enveloping effect of pure rock goodness that demands repeated spins.

The release of this excellent sophomore effort is not only a real triumph over adversity for Fighting With Wire but moreover a huge relief for the British rock scene that could've lost a genuinely exciting band. Hopefully now, with Colonel Blood under their wing, the trio can get fully and powerfully back on track. There's no reason why not.