Fire Next Time Announce International Tour

Fire Next TimeEdmonton, Alberta’s dark force of existentialism and folk punk fury, Stomp Records artists Fire Next Time have just unveiled plans for their most ambitious tour to date. The three continent-spanning tour is in support of their recently released vinyl version of Cold Hands and mark the first time the band has performed together overseas. 

Beginning in their home base of Edmonton, the band will head east across Canada before heading overseas to visit Russia and Eastern Europe, returning to Canada for the final dates. The tour will wrap up in time for the band to prepare for their first appearance at The Fest in Florida. 

The vinyl release comes from Ghost Buffalo Records and comes in two variants, smoke grey and electric orange.

Full tour dates can be seen below:

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Anti-Flag Play Acoustic Benefit Show

Anti-Flag PosterAmerican political punk group, Anti-Flag have announced a special acoustic benefit show.

While on tour through Canada, the band’s schedule was disrupted as wildfires ravaged the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray causing the evacuation of 80000 people. The band had to cancel their show in the city, but acknowledged the natural disaster by not only providing free admission to displaced residents at their Edmonton show, but also announcing an acoustic show on May 5 with 100% of the proceeds going to support those who have been affected by the fires.

Tour openers Lee Corey Oswald are also on the bill, as well as local artists Ben Sir (Worst Days Down) and James Renton (Fire Next Time). 

Live Concert Review

Good Riddance / Off With Their Heads / Fire Next Time

Live In Vancouver (10/17/15)

The Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, BC




As much as I’m loathe to admit it – I’m old enough now that nostalgia plays a roll in my concert going activities. I still see new bands, but there’s a certain charm from seeing an old favourite live and that’s what happened at the Rickshaw Theatre Saturday night.

First was Fire Next Time – for most, an unknown entity; but for me, nothing will ever be more nostalgic than Fire Next Time and Audio/Rocketry. Those two Edmonton bands defined my Edmonton local punk youth as I watched them play week after week in small venues with sweaty friends.

Now I’m lucky if I see them once a year but when I do, it’s a blessing.

With a new record out on Stomp Records, the folk-punk band is picking up their game, touring more and garnering more fans – and, rightfully so. Fronted by the rough and road weary James Renton – who’s vocals could easily be compared to an amalgamation of Tim Barry and Ben Nichols with an angsty scream – Fire Next Time regaled the theatre with songs about my old hometown. While it would’ve been nice to hear River City Blues one more time, singing along with Red Lion Rampant and Rosewood Jesus just felt right.

Following them was Minnesota’s gruff punks Off With Their Heads who are, sadly, sometimes hit and miss live. Luckily for those in attendance, Ryan Young and company were in top form – barrelling through a non-stop set of self-deprecating, angsty, angry punk. Young only stopped once to condemn beer being thrown at him and otherwise kept his head down low and blasted through their bass-heavy tunes. Staring with I Hope You Know the band played through The Eyes of Death, Start Walking, Nightlife, Focus On your Own Family, Altar Boy (which they dedicated to all those who hate organized religion), Janie and Don’t Make Me Go.

The set was cathartic; a reprieve for any pent up anger as people crowded to the front to sing along to a band that will surely go down in the annals of punk history. Therefore it makes sense that Good Riddance – a band that is already in the punk history books – ended the night.

Having not toured through Vancouver since around 2003 (partly because they broke up between 2007 and 2012), Good Riddance fans were salivating at the prospect of a nostalgic kick and that’s what they got: A pure, unaltered, punk rock show.

Russ Rankin sounded spot on, spitting screaming vocals overtop Luke Pabich’s crunching guitar and Chuck Platt’s pulsating bass lines. Platt’s vocals were shot thanks to a bad sound set up the night before and you could hear it in his harmonies; a tad disappointing, but then again, punk was never about perfect harmonies.

So fists were thrust into the air. Beers were drunk. Circles were created and ran; and punk fans lost themselves in the moment. Whether it was Grace and Virtue or Mother Superior or even Weight of The World, the crowd enthusiastically sang back with Good Riddance.

Always marginally political, the band continually encouraged the crowd to vote in the upcoming election and seemed genuinely excited about the outcome.

Whether you voted or not, it was a shot of nostalgia for fans who waited a dozen years to see the band live again.

It still just blows my mind that I’ve been seeing shows for twelve years. I am old, but damn it still feels good.

Tours: Good Riddance / Off With Their Heads / Iron Chic / Western Addiction / Fire Next Time

Good RiddanceGood Riddance has announce plans to tour North America with Off With Their Heads, Iron Chic, Western Addiction and Fire Next TimeGood Riddance continues to support ttheir latest full length, Peace In Our Time, available now on Fat Wreck Chords.

Full tour listings are below.

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Tours: Jon Creeden and James Renton (Fire Next Time)

Canadian folk punk acts Jon Creeden and James Renton (of Fire Next Time) have announced dates for their Summer Burritour across Canada.

Full tour listings are below.

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Fire Next Time - Cold Hands

Fire Next Time

Cold Hands

Stomp Records

Rating: 4.5/5




To fully describe Edmonton, Alberta gothic folk-punk outfit Fire Next Time is to explore and describe the pains of the human condition.  Seething emotion bleeds from the stereo as the band mines the soul in search of answers to personal tragedy and hardship.  If that all sounds very over the top, don’t be intimidated; the articulate quintet has a natural talent for translating such deep expressions into hearty song.  Their latest full length, Cold Hands, expands on Fire Next Time’s striking, gritty allure, providing a fitting entry point for curious newcomers seeking fulfillment in the band’s Stomp Records debut.

Offering an instrumental balance somewhere between early Elliott Brood, In Bocca Al Lupo-era Murder By Death and the gravelly call of a less jubilant Chuck Ragan, few direct comparisons capture Fire Next Time’s unmistakable presence.  Soft landing fiddle strokes and inquisitive piano keys periodically interject the otherwise downtrodden, distressed guitars.  Opener “I Follow Stars Not Dreams II” exemplifies the band’s vulnerability and transparency as whispered distortion effects whistle like a stormy gale rushing past a weathered cabin.  “I would do anything for you” pleads front man James Renton, repeating the line as if needing to convince himself.  Distortion runs rampant as the band’s trio of guitarists buzz over rumbling bass a track later in “Prophets.”  The track’s central instrumental bridge offers a moment of melodic reflection as a crisp voice breaks through the blanket of riffs with the cryptic, post-apocalyptic incantation, “There is no God and we are his prophets.”  

The whole outing walks a very dark path.  In much the same way that Slim Cessna’s Auto Club captivates through menacing, pseudo-religious imagery, Fire Next Time presents a bleak interpretation of a Godless world in which salvation seems far from reach.  Lines like “I have found God, but I have lost him, in one night, at the bottom of a barrel” haunt the soul with vacating abandonment (“This Is Poverty”); the sentiment is furthered as “Hands Of Time” slips further away from safety with repeated proclamations that “you are barely alive.”  When the album tempers its pace, notably on “Carrion Crow,” ebbing instrumentals retreat, emphasizing such self-defeating lines like “I was drunk in a ditch when the world fell apart.”  

But by the time “Temptation And The Journey South” hits, defeat transforms into anger, operating at a livid pace as Renton roars along ruggedly to an upbeat banjo call.  “I will find what I love, and let it kill me” continues Renton in defiance of defeat later in album climax “Black Banner.”  All of the internal torment and struggle concludes in a tunefully paced, almost peaceful conclusion with the mostly acoustic denouement, “Hounds Of Belgravia.”  What a journey.

Cold Hands marks Fire Next Time’s most polished, articulate and focused release to date.  The jump in lyrical and compositional ambition over their already lauded Hungry River Rhymes is impressive to say the least, becoming increasingly apparent upon each subsequent listen.  Cold Hands is an absolute must have for anyone interested in experiencing the emotional highs and tragic lows of dark gothic folk-punk.

Fire Next Time Full Album Stream

Fire NExt TimeEdmonton, Alberta folk punk act Fire Next Time has premiered a full album stream of their upcoming Stomp Records debut.   The album is titled Cold Hands and is due out on May 5, 2015.

Give the disc a listen here courtesy Exclaim!

Stomp Records Welcomes Fire Next Time

Fire NExt TimeEdmonton, Alberta folk punk act Fire Next Time has joined the Stomp Records family.   Wasting no time at all, the band plans to release their new full length, Cold Hands, on May 5, 2015.

The band will be pounding the pavement in May as they head east for the one and only Pouzza FEST.  Full tour dates are below.

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Fire Next Time Releases Four New Songs

Fire Next TimeEdmonton, Alberta’s folk-punk brethren Fire Next Time have unveiled four brand new songs from their highly anticipated new album, Cold Hands.

The four songs, Hounds of Belgravia, Black Banner, Hellfire and Red Lion, can all be heard as part of Sonic 102.9’s Band of the Month celebration here.

They will be available for streaming until the end of the month when Fire Next Time will play a showcase at the Pawn Shop on Whyte Avenue. The band previously released Hungry River Rhymes in 2012.



Video: Fire Next Time – Fucking Magic

Fire Next TimeEdmonton, Alberta’s folk-punk act Fire Next Time have released a new music video for their latest single, Fucking Magic.

The track appears on their 2012 album Hungry River Hymns which can be streamed here.

The Ethan Sir directed video stars fellow Edmontonian punk act Ben Sir of Worst Days Down. It can be seen below.

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Fire Next Time - Hungry River Hymns

Fire Next Time

Hungry River Hymns


Rating: 4.5/5




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.

While they are a folk band, Fire Next Time is not Mumford & Sons. Renton’s raspy wails spew forth genuine emotion, which complements the lyrics perfectly. An underlying sense of chaos weaves throughout the album, as if a barely contained demon is straining to break free. Every song feels as if it could descend into complete madness at any second. The caterwauling guitar is tempered by the pluck of the banjo, contrasting each other in a sonic battle. Likewise, the group harmonies complement Renton’s vocals, if only because of their stark disparity. This is not shallow radio friendly folk music watered down for mass consumption. Nor is this your grandfather’s Woody Guthrie album, hissing and popping through songs of hope and redemption as it spins on the record player.

Hungry River Hymns begins with a short sonic burst of unfettered chaos, rolling along with the barest semblance of a melody, like a ghost in the fog always just beyond your eyesight. They barrel along with obvious energy, faint echoes of punk rock resonating in the shadows. Mary is a simple plea to a loved one, a sorrowful sparse tune reminiscent of legendary songwriter Tom Russell. Rosewood initially existed as a Renton solo tune called Rosewood Jesus, which caused goose bumps every time he played it live. The addition of the full band changes the dynamic some, unfortunately watering down the effectiveness of the chilling song. However, the haunting tale of racism, murder and betrayal works well with Renton’s rough voice. If there are glimpses of hope elsewhere in the album, this song at the heart of the album dispels all such notions, instead exposing the darkness that lies deep within the hearts of man. Occasionally inflections of country music are heard, like in Chapter 31. Country like The Sadies or Dave Alvin, not anything you would hear on the radio, moody and propelled forward by guitar.

Lyrically, Fire Next Time wear their surroundings like a badge. Vague references betray their home, places they have visited on tour, the weariness of long drives through empty environments. Murder ballads sit next to soft hearted pleas to lovers long gone. These are stories from the road, from cold northern winters, from hungover mornings of regret. Empty stomachs in freezing train cars rattling across the barren prairies. The underlying feel of Hungry River Hymns is reminiscent of a John Steinbeck novel, wonderful stories about real people exposing the darkness at the heart of every day life. In The Woods, this emptiness is evident as Renton sings “I hear the whistle blowing/ The train is right on time/ And I swear that I’d be moving on/ But in hunger/ I swallowed my last dime.” The lovers are all gone. The friends are all freaks and fuck ups, dwelling together in desperation. Like the album suggests, there are religious overtones throughout, but these are not happy songs of worship. These are songs for the left behind, those lost but still looking for a redemption that they will never find. This is clearly addressed in Runnin’ Out of Time, “Taker, you great forsaker/ I’m down on my knees,/ Come take me away. Now, I’m praying to the gods/ Of whiskey, lust and drugs/ And if you see my mama/ Tell her I’m doing okay.” 

At times, Murder by Death seems to be the most obvious comparisons, but that doesn’t accurately describe their sound. The vocals are ragged and road worn like Chuck Ragan. The banjo adds a noticeable bright spot to the sound. Whoa ohs betray their punk rock past. The songs weave uncontrollably between simple chord sing alongs and meandering melodies like Titus Andronicus. Haunting organ, striking saw and scratchy washboard add depth to the music, elevating it to higher levels. They comfortably own their sound, a blend of discordant influences mashed together with vigor.

Fire Next Time play music designed for darkness. These are songs to accompany a Cormac McCarthy novel, bleakness pervading the very essence of the album. Broken men with broken hearts, passed out on the dirty floor, too scared to swallow the bullet, slowly dying one drink at a time. Sepia photographs of rotting barns on abandoned farmsteads. Fly riddled carcasses of dogs by the roadside. Sitting on the porch, shotgun in hand, empty bottle of whiskey on the table, watching as the day fades to night, shadows swallowing the world as the blackness slowly creeps toward you. The uneasy realization that you are alone, there lies no redemption at the end of the road, all of your loss in life will simply fade as your body decomposes and is eaten by worms. There is no god here, only faint ruminations of a man desperately searching for meaning in a shattered world, looking for a reason to carry on despite the sorrow… and finding nothing.

Fire Next Time is hymns for the drunken and the damned.


Video: Fire Next Time – Belly Of Fire (Balcony TV)

Fire Next TimeFire Next Time are the latest band to stop by Balcony TV Edmonton to play an acoustic tune in the chill breeze of winter. The band performed Belly Of Fire from their self-released debut album, Wild Rose Sorrow.

The video can be seen below.

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Tours: Fire Next Time / Fox Opera (Canada)

Fire Next TimeEdmonton’s alcohol-soaked folk punk act  Fire Next Time are kicking off a Canadian tour tonight in support of their new album, Wildrose Sorrow. Joining them for the trek will be Fox Opera.

The tour kicks off tonight with a CD release show at the Pawn Shop in Edmonton with Audio/Rocketry and Fest or Famine and will see the band heading out East and back until they hit Calgary on September 28th. Fox Opera will be with them up until the end of August. The dates are below.

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