October 2020. Swansea, like the majority of Wales, is currently in lockdown. Live music has become a distant memory as a global pandemic has unfolded in front of our very eyes, but yet music remains such a key cog in many of our lives.
Immediately, as the opening chords of local band The Hip Fire’s EP title and opening track “Our Last Romance” begin to play, you immediately get the sense that this is an anthem for the masses. “LETS GO!” yells frontman Nick, before we arrive at a rousing chorus with him in reflective mood and snarling like Gerard Way in his My Chemical Romance peak and asking “What if we’ve missed our chance?”
If there had ever been a time for wondering “what if”, it’s been 2020. The truly sad thing about this song, is that it had been made to play live and hopefully, one day soon a crowd can respond to this song in the way it deserves.
The second track “These Hands” is a groovy but moody affair with the rhythm section of Kieran, Dan, Jamie and Ben on fine form. It’s optimised by Nick’s words as the chorus kick in, “Just hold tight, yeah, yeah, yeah”. Another glorious throwback to an era of emo pop punk bands.
By the time, we get to track three “Forever”, the tempo has been lifted and the adrenaline kicks in, “I can’t stay forever” Nick repeatedly tells us, but a variety of words aren’t needed here. The message is clear and again if 2020 has taught us anything, we don’t have forever. We have to make the best of the here and now.
“The Real Thing” is arguably the most pop sounding track on the EP and without doubt, the most catchiest. With a nod to early Arctic Monkeys, this band make the track into, what is undoubtedly, going to be another crowd pleaser in a day where we can see live music again. A worthy EP closer.
These are very uncertain times for us all, but this EP is an absolute joy. It’s pure escapism. As previously mentioned, it harks back to carefree days of the 2000’s as emo pop punk bands stormed into their charts across the world making such an impact.
Speaking of making an impact, The Hip Fire have certainly done that with this EP and their timing couldn’t have been any better.