Firewalker Alive EP reissue

Refuse Records brings us a new vinyl reissue of FIREWALKER’s 2018 cassette-only promo, originally on lame-o mersh hardcore label Pop Wig. The new cover art by Emma Hendry is a vast improvement on the original art and re-situates this release within the larger FIREWALKER visual world of smirking impish devils. It’s crazy that FIREWALKER has been around for five years now. They have been a truly game-changing band, inspiring cool girls and enraging small-minded sexists with overtly feminist lyrics set to the previously male-only province of NYHC-inspired music. “Role Model” is an antipodean take on ALONE IN A CROWD’s “Who You Know” (which AIAC puzzlingly played at a 2019 reunion show—yikes, go ahead and prove FIREWALKER’s point), while “Out of Time” bemoans the punishment that accompanies the slow march of progress in hardcore. “Cyanide” features singer Sophie and guest singer Sen IÁ±iguez of the short-lived Olympia band MALA RACHA trading off over a lurching, heavy riff. I’m glad this got the vinyl treatment—it’s a worthy follow-up to their excellent 2017 LP, and it’s quite a bit better than 2019’s The Roll Call. Still an unimpeachably cool band to me.