Fire Next Time are a punk band that plays folk songs and it’s no coincidence that its spirited concerts are so often described using religious language. They have made a pilgrimage of sorts, from upstarts who just wanted to play music to stalwarts influencing their peers. Throughout the course of their three full-length albums and the Bend Like a Northern Light EP, Fire Next Time have shared the stage with greats such as Murder by Death, A Wilhelm Scream, The Flatliners and Pulley. The boundless energy and countless hours its members have devoted is paying off. Fire Next Time has Cold Hands under its belt and is taking it on the road. Having earned their reputation as a tireless crowd favourite through relentless cross-country touring, Fire Next Time also boasts a back catalogue steeped in the rich musical and literary traditions of punk, peripatetic folk music and grim narrative songwriting a la Townes Van Zandt scoring a Cormac McCarthy adaptation with Henry Rollins’ blessing.
Cold Hands is courageous in its resolve to break new ground. It executes an array of musical ideas so seamlessly that moments of calm are all the more compelling for what might follow. “When the bones have cracked and the flesh and fat have all been torn away, know I’m on my way,” sings Renton in “Hounds of Belgravia.” That kind of visceral storytelling is the record’s backbone, complemented with a bevy of instrumental flourishes, including a guest violin appearance from Vancouver musician Tegan Ceschi-Smith on “Temptation and the Journey South”, “I Follow Stars, Not Dreams II” and the albums final song “Hounds of Belgravia”.
“Fire Next Time is a folk band, playing catchy songs with poetic lyrics that are anchored by acoustic guitar and splashes of banjo. Live, fans love to sing along with lead singer James Renton’s passionate verses while the band dresses with style and the appropriate number of members have hipster friendly beards.” – Punksite
“Fire Next Time is continuing to represent Edmonton’s punk contingent at home and further afield. The band, which is now signed to Stomp Records out of Montréal, is gearing up for a tour and an appearance at Quebec punk-rock showcase Le Pouzza Fest after the release of Cold Hands.” – Vue Weekly