February 1, 2021 Developing Artist Showcase – Faster on Fire
These days Pop Punk is a term that can convey a multitude of divergent sounds that amount to labeling pomegranates and peaches as similar. Take, for instance, The Get Up Kids and Sum 41: both great bands but with exceedingly different approaches. Similarly, it might be difficult to convince anyone that Four Year Strong and Something Corporate are cut from identical cloth, but A Day To Remember and New Found Glory make decent identical cousins. Into this mélange there will always come new entries, and we think it’s time that you meet one such band: Faster on Fire.
Faster on Fire is a duo that hails from Raleigh, North Carolina, where they are no strangers to the local music scene. Here, best friends Vocalist/Guitarist Jon Skinner and Drummer Alex Gabor had begun their musical careers in the band The Oh Whales. Unfortunately, that band would call it quits much too soon to see nationwide success, but Skinner and Gabor were undeterred. Because you can’t keep a good thing down, right?
Reinventing their sound and crafting an arsenal of new tracks, along with some previously unreleased gems, the pair forged a path for themselves under the new guise of Faster on Fire. As with nearly all artists across infinite genres, the boys took influences from the bands and musicians who inspired them along the way, injected an emotionally-charged approach, and then tailored this new sound to their fresh vision.
The end result of their hard work and passion can be heard on their debut EP, Lessons Learned, which arrived back in November 2020. A four song sampler full of nostalgia-invoking Pop Punk sounds, coupled with enough emotion and honesty to earn them the Emo tag if they so desire it, the twosome has delivered an impressive EP that has rightfully earned them a place in the scene.
Drawing from what we can only assume are influences ranging from Simple Plan to Say Anything, Jimmy Eat World to Mest, Skinner and Gabor offer up sounds that are apt to appeal to those of us that were there in the early 2000s at the height of denim skirts worn over leggings (ugh) and mismatched false eyelashes (double ugh), and, worst yet, shutter shades. But the success of their brand is that it will also appeal to the new wave of Pop Punk fans who have discovered the genre thanks to the likes of Neck Deep, Mayday Parade, and their ilk.
This is evident on the Lessons Learned EP, which takes the playfulness and sincere emotion of their forebears and crafts it into a sound that is fully Faster on Fire. From the timeless confessions of being one’s own worst enemy (hello Lit) in “Can’t Stop Starting,” to the moving plea of “June Again,” they offer a pitch-perfect appeal to fans of the genre. The latter track, especially, offers delicious flourishes of those glorious emo days of the past as the boys pine for a girl named Emily. And knowing a good thing when they create it, the pair has even taken it one step further and offered up a semi-acoustic ‘Quarantine Edition’ of the track on their YouTube channel.
Of course, none of this is to overlook the second half of the EP. Pondering how to treat someone you love, admitting that the bulk of your friends exist inside your head, and being forthright enough to admit your upbringing has left some scars, “I’ll Never Know” harnesses that confessional quality that joyfully lacks in self-seriousness, that divine humility that exists in superb artists such as Ben Folds. It is an ability that Skinner and Gabor carry with them into their finale, the acoustic ballad “Rookie Mistakes.”
With their passionate sincerity, enticing melodies, light-hearted confessions that run deep, and an infectious ability to craft songs worthy of sing-alongs, these North Carolina musicians are making a name for themselves. So give Lessons Learned a listen on Spotify or Google Play, iTunes or Apple Music, and check the pair out for yourself. We’re pretty sure that you will agree that Pop Punk is far from dead—and Faster on Fire is all the proof this world needs.