|The Fire - 'Abracadabra' (Eat The World)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Wednesday, 28 April 2010 05:30|
The last Italian-related record that really tickled my fancy was called 'Carbone' and was released by a Midlands-based eleven piece outfit with a sleeve featuring a long haired mercurial wizard holding up a claret and blue shirt with his name on it....
The cover of 'Abracadabra', the new album by Italian mob The Fire, features stunning alt/fetish model GoGo Blackwater and, ahem, my interest piques. I put the proverbial needle on the record and opener 'Never' prances out of the speakers leaving me thinking that every picture doesn't really tell a story.....
Then, as if by magic - sorry - the title track thumps out and we're up and running. Massive riff, soaring melodies - this is the kind of melodic rock that you'd be happy to see filling stadiums instead of the commercial coma rock of Nickelback, Theory Of A Deadman and all those other insipid industry insects that the morons of this planet lap up like the living dead lap up headguts.
Next up is 'Wasted' and, again, this pretty much perfects the crunching riff/massive hook dynamic. This is good stuff and, unbelievably, my trip to get the artwork laminated is put on hold. Then we get a cover of 'New York New York'. Hmmm. Cover version standard in running order calamity? Not quite, but chucking this (admittedly cool) cover into the mix so early is the last good film Tom Cruise ever made - Risky Business for the pop culturally stunted. The next track needs to be good to pull this fucker back into line - 'Bohemian Burlesque' opens like vintage Him and then goes epic in a post-Richie Manic Street Preachers vein; seriously, James Dean Bradfield's ears must burn every time someone hears this track.
The thing I like about this band is the apparent blurring of influences; sure, the record is awash in rock - at times the vocals remind me, somewhat bizarrely, of Klaus Meine - but there are definite ripples of pure pop sensibilities that push the album in a less predictable direction. 'Sweet Enemy' is a great example of this, as is 'Scars' which, happily, makes me think of Rankin-era Gun. Thinking of a cool female rock 'n' roll name to write a tasty hook around? Did the name 'Yvonne' cross your mind? Nah, me neither but The Fire shock this moribund moniker back to life by way of some seriously decent melodic rock. Final track 'Walk' throws a sugar-stained blanket over a riff that The Police could have written....and probably did.
And that should be the end to a truly surprising rock record that appeared out of nowhere and really made me sit up and take notice.....but the end it is not. Tacked on the end of the album, crying out "These are too good to be forgotten about", we get two tracks from previous album 'Loverdrive'; the first, 'Emily', is a right ass-kicker that sounds like über-faves The Black Mollys and the second is a cover of 'Smalltown Boy' by Bronski Beat. Another quirky cover, you ask? A quick check of my Bronski archive tells me that this song has been, maybe surprisingly, covered to death by all manner of rockers and rollers including Paradise Lost and, more recently, Delain. The Fire version is, however, thoroughly decent and a good end (part 2) to the album.
Great vocals, huge riffs, massive hooks, tasty songwriting - getting this album for free told me something; life is good.