Firehouse - Firehouse

Firehouse - Firehouse

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Firehouse - Firehouse

(1990, Epic)

FIREHOUSE belong to the third generation of the 80s Hair Metal map of America. Having said that, they made their appearance in the late 80s at the underground circuit but were among the few bands that instantly aimed at and won a big contract with a commercial record label. And if you listen to their self-titled debut you can easily understand why.

The songs are the total highlights here; all of them are instant hits with hooks that are eternally memorable and big choruses that cannot leave you alone without shaking along to the rhythm. Apart from the big hit “All She Wrote” it was a total of twelve cuts that showcased a band having tons of energy to come up with essential songwriting and a high sense of what riffs and melodies are all about. The songs vary from big rockers like “Oughta Be A Law”, “Overnight Sensation” and “Helpless” to more groovy numbers including “Rock On The Radio” and “Don’t Walk Away” while the huge ballad-type “Love Of A Lifetime” is also a necessity in this kind of album. Needless to say, the LP produced some 3-4 singles that gained enormous airplay in the States but Europe also received this release quite well (even the pathetic UK Press had something good to write about back in those days; the Grunge movement was yet to come) while the Asian territory welcomed them as heroes (as usual in this case and period).

The musicianship is another big ace in “Firehouse”. The vocals are shining sharp and boast lots of melody without avoiding to hit hard notes when the songpart demands it; the guitar is a professional manual for lovers of this genre too, with chops and licks all around and some solos that strike hard and do not let go easily. The rhythm section is, on the other hand, adds volume to the disc in ease since it’s huge like a wall and solid as tons of brick. I have trouble trying to remember some other album of that era having such an intact bass/drums performance, to be honest. And, last but not least, the production and overall sound is a total winner that upgrades the songs to a stellar status and throws to the table the simplified yet thorny task of how to make a ‘boulevard’ Rock album sounding right in –your-face and bombastic and arena Rock and... and... and...

FIREHOUSE saw their debut LP being certified double platinum in the United States and Gold in Canada, Japan and Singapore... see what I mean? With four hit singles and an equally good follow-up called “Hold Your Fire” (1992) the American quartet reached instant stardom and saw themselves hailed as one of the best acts in the Hair Metal circuit that was soon to fall in oblivion in the years to come. I bet fans of the genre have this stellar piece of American Hard Rock but if you don’t there’s no alternative; buy it and taste the fire.


Tracklist

01. Rock On The Radio
02. All She Wrote
03. Shake And Tumble
04. Don’t Treat Me Bad
05. Oughta Be A Law
06. Lover’s Lane
07. Home Is Where The Heart Is
08. Don’t Walk Away
09. Seasons Of Change
10. Overnight Sensation
11. Love Of A Lifetime
12. Helpless


Lineup

C.J. Snare - Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Bill Leverty - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Perry Richardson - Bass, Backing Vocals
Michael Foster - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals