Iodine Recording is releasing a collection of out-of-print and unreleased tracks, Beauty Fades, from iconic Boston punk band Smoke or Fire on May 27. Ahead of the new album, the band are sharing the track “50 Cent Hearts,” and you can check it out premiering right here at New Noise.
Smoke or Fire formed back in the late 90s, among a number of other bands in the Boston underground scene at the time. They quickly became known for their unique brand of heartfelt, emotional punk, with lyrics ranging from deeply personal topics to broader social criticisms of war and politics. Their music often draws comparisons to bands like Avail, Hot Water Music, and Against Me!
After releasing their debut EP, Worker’s Union, in 2002, they moved forward to sign with Fat Wreck Chords and release an additional three, full-length albums, Above the City, This Sinking Ship, and The Speakeasy.
Beauty Fades is the band’s new collection of out-of-print and unreleased tracks: Side A includes a completely remixed and remastered version of Worker’s Union; Side B includes seven rare or unreleased tracks that span the band’s history, including the EP Rises in the East, which was never released but included a number of tracks the band played live through their tenure.
The entire collection is being pressed on vinyl for the first time ever and comes complete with all new artwork and packaging.
Singer and guitarist Joe McMahon opens up about the track, “50 Cent Hearts,” and its history:
“I wrote ‘50 Cent Hearts’ in the year 2001, shortly after 9/11. America was invading the Middle East, and we as a band were against the war and saw it as ‘war profiteering.’ Mother’s sons being sent off to die or kill someone else’s son in the name of greed, masked as patriotism. It was the first really political song I ever wrote, and when we started playing it live, I saw the energy it not only brought to our band but in the crowd as well. It really transformed the band. These songs have been out of print for almost 20 years, which is crazy because it was the majority of our live set for a long time. I’m grateful for Iodine Recordings to bring them back now, and with the remix and remaster they feel brand new again. I’m very proud of this release.”
Preorder Beauty Fades here, and listen to “50 Cent Hearts” below:
Photo courtesy of Bryan Wynacht