When Michigan’s Fireworks announced an “indefinite hiatus” in 2015, it seemed to spell the premature end of one of punk/emo music’s most promising new acts. 2014’s Oh, Common Life saw the band juxtaposing frontman David Mackinder’s emotive tales of heartache and loss with an expanding musical pallet of indie rock influences — and just as they seemed poised for a breakthrough, they were gone.
It is perhaps fitting then that Fireworks have now returned to the scene just as abruptly as they left. A surprise release dropped alongside a cryptic website, and quickly followed by an album announcement, “Demitasse” is not only the band’s first song in 5 years — it is also their most thrillingly boundary-pushing moment to date. The track is a slow-building, 7-minute mission statement that fully embraces the moody textural indie rock they always seemed destined for, and climaxing in a triumphant post-rock freakout totally unlike anything found in their past work. It is the best track of Fireworks’ career thus far, and the sound of a group back with something to prove. If “Demitasse” is any indication at all of what is to come, their forthcoming LP Higher Lonely Power is set to be a major contender for album of the year lists in 2020.