After gaining a respectable online following over the last few years, pop-rock quartet Fame on Fire have now released their appropriately titled debut EP Transitions which features the band’s first foray into original songwriting. Fame on Fire have become popular for their rock/metal renditions of famous pop songs, having covered chart topping artists ranging from Ed Sheeran to Adele, and the reception has been widely positive. Transitions marks a new chapter for the band and this long awaited project will truly show how much staying power Fame on Fire possess.
The most notable aspect of Fame on Fire’s sound is their unique hybridization of genres. Earlier in their career Fame on Fire managed to keep the charm of the pop songs they covered while incorporating a heavier sound thanks to hard rock and metal instrumentals. These factors have carried over onto Transitions and allow Fame on Fire to create heavy yet accessible music that draws inspiration from a wealth of artists. The opening track “Amber (Fire)” starts off with a soft piano intro that pairs well with Bryan Kuznitz’s soothing vocals. The track then dives head first into heavier territory with an explosion of hard rock guitars and booming percussion. What I admire about the song is that its exterior seems heavy though the chorus is catchy enough to keep the band in a more pop-oriented field. The mix of rock, electronica, and hints of metal are reminiscent of the Meteora era of Linkin Park’s discography. The second track and lead single “Another One” has a solid metal riff that carries the song along and Kuznitz once again shows off his impressive range. Similar to what “Amber (Fire)” captured, “Another One” has a heavy enough sound to categorize itself as a rock song though poppy enough to gain Fame on Fire more commercial success. This style reminds me of A Day to Remember due to its heavier instrumentation that roots itself in metal though it’s paired alongside a catchy hook that’s more familiar with the pop-punk genre.
While this fusion of pop and metal might come across as off-putting, it actually works better than it might sound on paper. For example, tracks like “For You” and “Give Me It All” show inspiration from a wide array of diverse genres and they work well together to create a fresh sound. It’s a style that snugly fits within the chart topping pop-rock that’s prevalent at the moment, thanks to artists such as Twenty One Pilots and The 1975. This sound has enough edge to categorize itself as rock though it remains radio-friendly to reach a wide fan base.
While this specific genre blending gives Fame on Fire a distinct character, it might also be a turnoff for certain listeners. In all honesty, metal enthusiasts might find this project to be too radio-friendly compared to what they’re accustomed to, and pure pop music fans could have a difficult time getting past the band’s more hard rock aesthetic. In the end, this hybridization of multiple genres could divide listeners who are devoted to a specific genre, though that isn’t to say the band won’t have crossover success as well. With a sound this diverse, Fame on Fire will surely pick up some momentum in multiple music communities.
Transitions is definitely a strong move for Fame on Fire. Longtime fans of the band are surely eager to hear what original work Fame on Fire can put forth and Transitions likely won’t disappoint. Even though the unorthodox mix of musical styles might be a change of pace for new listeners, it’s hard to imagine devoted Fame on Fire fans wanting much more out of this EP. Transitions could very well signal the next point on Fame on Fire’s career and it’s a promising beginning note.