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Set the World on Fire

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Album Review

A muddy, bloody lo-fi trashfest, Fireworks' debut, Set the World on Fire, attempts to do just that, but even if the only thing the band managed to burn out was itself, the remaining document is a blazing mess of druggy white soul. Fireworks dresses up their bare-bones rockabilly skronk with feedback and distortion as connective tissue, making a treble-heavy clatter with rudimentary drumming, cheap guitars, and no low end in sight. Mastermind Darin Lin Wood has charisma to burn even when smothered in reverb and amplifier hum, carrying himself like the drunken reincarnation of Gene Vincent and howling with the urgency of a man who has just one chance to get it on tape. By turns pugnacious ("Hey F****r"), romantic ("Silver Moon"), sinister ("Murdered Model"), and lusty ("Fire Engine Lady"), Wood leads the band through a set that bursts with so much dirty, greasy life that it collects in pools under the speakers. Although their approach has obvious antecedents in bands like the Cramps, the Gories, and the Panther Burns, Fireworks sweat out the kind of passion and energy that divides the men from the record collectors. Set the World on Fire is a wild classic of messed-up garage rock from a sadly defunct band that ended up exhausting itself after just a few years, too noisy for most but perfect for those with primitive tastes.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Playing skronked-up rockabilly and rock & roll (think Jon Spencer as much as Rev. Horton Heat), Fireworks was formed by Dallas musician Darin Lin Wood after his ejection from another area band; before moving to Texas from New York in 1989, Wood had also played in a very early lineup of Cop Shoot Cop, as well as 68 Comeback and Blacksnakes. The first lineup of Fireworks took shape circa 1993, centered around Wood and Chris Merlick, both of whom sang and played guitar and drums. Merlick left and rejoined...
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Set the World on Fire, Fireworks
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