Fire Next Time 'Cold Hands' (album stream)

Fire Next Time 'Cold Hands' (album stream)
Edmonton-based punk outfit Fire Next Time are set to release their fourth LP Cold Hands next week, but Exclaim! is already streaming the record in its entirety, and you can give it an early listen right here.
 
Self-described as a punk band who play folk songs, the group blend the heavily narrative tradition of folk music (and banjos) with a penchant for the raucous noise and adamant attitude of punk rock. A press release describes the grim content of their songwriting style as "à la Townes Van Zandt scoring a Cormac McCarthy adaptation with Henry Rollins' blessing." It's an apt description that carries on through the latest album.
 
"I Follow Stars Not Dreams II" opens the set of songs, delivering frantic strings and brooding piano with earnest, emotional vocals, before guitars kick in and lead the album into more rockin' territory. "Red Lion Rampant," for example, touches on familiar folk tropes of drinking and singing, but delivers a lot more grit, guitars and growling than any acoustic ballad that might come to mind.
 
There are moments of quiet, too, though (like instrumental interlude "They Found Him Long Ago"), giving listeners a chance to prepare for the ensuing blasts of sound found on tracks like "Prophets" and "Black Banner."
 
It's a dense and diverse listen, providing a range of influences and styles. Cold Hands officially arrives on May 5 through Stomp Records, but you can give it a listen right now, in the player below.