Get Shot

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Fireside is a rock band from Sweden. The Hives are a rock band from Sweden. Every label on the planet seems to be looking for the next Hives. Predictably, most rock bands from Sweden are not as good as the Hives. Fireside, though quite different in its approach (more Fugazi and the Fall than the Rolling Stones), is as good as the Hives. And they have been around for a while, releasing records for American and Crank! during the '90s before ending up on V2 with Get Shot. The records leading up to this were abrasive and firmly rooted in the metal-meets-emo school, but this record shatters that pattern gloriously, and what remains is a melodic, sonically adventurous, and exciting record that will send you back for repeated listens. They've added vocal harmonies, ditched the metallic guitars, upped the tempos, and most importantly, written sensational songs like "Backwards Over Germany" and "Problem (To You)," which share the same hard-charging pop sound of the Foo Fighters at their best, only with much sweeter vocals. The best songs are as good as any punk-influenced modern guitar rock you are liable to hear anytime soon: the sunny-sounding "All You Had," which is bolstered by handclaps and falsetto ooh-oohs (not to mention a killer hook), the dramatic "All Criminals Are Us," which has a great call-and-response vocal hook, and the very Swervedriver-sounding "Player," which has that band's epic feel and an amazing chorus that will take your breath away the first time you hear it. The only weak link is the ballad "I'm Coming Home," but it isn't a fatal flaw and at least the song has an interesting noise loop running through it. V2 hasn't found the next Hives, but the label has found something even more important: a really good record that came out of nowhere. Hearing Get Shot for the first time is like finding that proverbial needle in a haystack, a glittering needle in a haystack of dull, derivative hay.

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