NATIONS ON FIRE: Burn Again… : 12” EP

I remember the day a box of the double 7” version of this came into Epicenter in San Francisco. Summer of 1993. I was already a fan of these guys after hearing their album Strike the Match, but this EP upped the ante considerably. I grabbed a copy out of the stack and put it on the turntable. The hair on my arms stood on end and my mouth was agape as I stared at the record spinning around. “On and On” was ripping out of the speakers with wild abandon and I knew I was hearing a great record. (That song became the song of the summer for some friends and me.) These eight songs are very much hardcore punk, but they pushed against the boundaries. Nations On Fire were considered a straight edge band, but they were too smart for that crowd, as were most of the European bands in that genre at the time. They took their clean living beyond just high school concerns and brought it into perspective on a political and social level. They attacked patriotism, nationalism, racism, destruction of the environment, and other problems of the modern world, and they did it with great music to get the message across. Think of No For An Answer mixed with late-’80s, early-’90s Dischord Records bands. Blazing, tuneful, and smart. Over twenty years later, and this record is still relevant. –Matt Average (Refuse, refusemusic.net, [email protected])