As I was strolling down the lonely search pages of AP.net, I came across the surprising, mildly disappointing realization that Fireworks’ All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion has yet to be reviewed here. Given the news of the phenomenal tour that Fireworks are going to kick off in late summer, I thought it appropriate to give one of the best debut pop punk full lengths of recent memory a write-up. Full of uplifting, earnest pop punk, Detroit natives Fireworks have nothing to hide. Taking after New Found Glory, their sound offers nasally vocals from Dave Mackinder which are kept afloat by furious instrumentation from Brett Jones, Chris Mojan, Kyle O’Neil, and Tymm Rengers. Mackinder’s distinctive voice and a style that yearns for stage dives have made Fireworks one of the central pieces in the group of young, up and coming bands that is sending shock waves through the pop punk circle.
Opener “Geography, Vonnegut, and Me” is one of the catchiest songs on All I Have to Offer and is a straightforward look into the rest of this album. While Fireworks may not be as versatile as some of their peers, and while they may not melt your faces off like Four Year Strong or get you down to your panties like All Time Low, All I Have to Offer will please most fans of the genre. Awesome gang vocals, rifftastic guitar work, and honest lyrics pepper the album. Literally every song on this record has at least one phenomenal hook that will linger in your head for hours, and when you get to moments like the one-two punch of “2923 Monroe Street” and the infectious “Holiday”, it’s plain to see why I can call this one of the best recent pop punk debuts without hesitating. “When We Stand On Each Other We Block Out the Sun” shows the most introspective lyrical content, as Mackinder dedicates the song to the best friends that he would do anything with.
Those of you who have heard this album and parade it as one of your favorites must be waiting for me to mention “Detroit”. Well, there isn’t much to say about this song, other than it is one of the best pop punk songs ever written. End of story. Just when you think you’ve heard every good hook out there, you hear “Whoa oh oh oh / You don’t need maps / When you know where the sidewalk cracks”. Easily put, there is nary a line that’s better to sing out loud with your friends. Later in the song, you hear another fantastic hook in the outro: Mackinder’s delivery of “We pray for the worst things / Making presidential threats when the phone would ring” is flawless and solidifies “Detroit” as Fireworks’ best song.
To me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this band. They’re hard-working, they play true music, and they’re on one of the best labels out there right now. As many can tell just by which albums I review, pop punk is the genre I identify most with, and Fireworks certainly climb up my list every time I listen to this album in its entirety. I can see why so many of my friends call Fireworks their favorite group, and if all of their outputs match the fiery passion and intensity that can be heard in All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion, they may be mine as well one day.