CIGARETTE CROSSFIRE: Self-titled: CD

This took me a lot of listens to finally warm to it. They have a different vocalist, Matti, who sounds a little similar to Jere from the In Between the Cure and the Disease album, but does not have the emotional depth that Jere possessed. So that really put me off, but I’m starting to come around. Also, the material on here is not as consistently strong. “Pill Pusher” is not without its merits, such as the chorus, but they start to sound like every other modern day pop punk band with the “whoa-oh-oh” thing, and this is a band that can do much better than that (just check out the chorus and vocal interplay in the song “Ready to Go”). In fact, the album bogs down during the stretch of songs “Pill Pusher,” “Gunpoint,” and “Lies.” It’s when they play songs like “Rise Above,” “Graveyard” (the change-up at the end of the songs is great!) and “Face My Enemy” is when they are at their strongest, showing off their finest traits, which are fast-paced tempos that are urgent and catchy, along with some well-crafted lyrics, like “You are an effigy / The face of my enemy” from “Face My Enemy,” or the seriously great “I am afraid, but not of you / I’m afraid that I’ll become like you / and that the world will never change” from “Stained,” or the entirety of the previously mentioned “Rise Above.” For the uninitiated, think of Leatherface, but with more fire and drive, and less morose. By all means check this out, but I urge you to listen to the In Between the Cure and the Disease album as well. 

 –M.Avrg (Waterslide)