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Fireside's roots lie in the Swedish hardcore scene of the late '80s and early '90s, where they forged a vitriolic sound that influenced Scandinavian polemical punk outfits like Refused, International Noise Conspiracy, and Saidwas. But the band's done some growing over the years, and these days has a heavily melodic alt-rock sound slightly reminiscent of American alternative powerhouses like Shudder To Think and Helmet. They've got a decidedly post-grunge musical outlook: a forceful, punishing rhythm section, chugging, riff-heavy guitars, bleak, anguished vocals (sung in curiously unaccented English), and twisting, occasionally epic song structures with quiet, subdued verses and crushing choruses. These guys would do very well in a stadium playing before 20,000 screaming fans.

The quartet is famous in Sweden, but thanks in part to the bungled promotional efforts of their first U.S. label, American, they're little known Stateside. Hopefully that will all change now that they've signed to L.A.-based Crank!. The group has released four official full-length albums and numerous EPs. Their most recent is the enormous, 21-song Hello Kids, featuring the slow-tempo guitar anthem "Not in My Palace" and the faster alterna-metal knockout punch "Slash."

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