Metal Blade Records has made quite the name for itself in the world of hard rock and metal this year. New releases from the likes of Horisont, OSI, and Six Feet Under have shown audiences what makes Metal Blade THE leader in hard rock and metal right now. The re-issue of Gentleman’s Pistols’ debut self-titled serves as another reminder of that. And now, the re-issue of Firebird’s fourth album, “Hot Wings” continues to show Metal Blade branching out, making itself that much more versatile and respected in the music community.
Firebird has allegedly disbanded. But the band’s fourth album, “Hot Wings” will be re-issued by Metal Blade Records at the end of the month. It is a fitting tribute to a band that could only be described as one of the best pure rock bands in recent memory. “Hot Wings” opens with the guitar driven, ‘Carousel.’ Front man Bill Steer sings here, “How many times have you found yourself stuck on your own carousel?” In other words, how many times have you found yourself going in circles? Rather than taking the low rode, the energy of the song really captures what a person feels like when he or she is going in said circles.
The band slows things down a little bit after ‘Carousel’ with the King’s X-esque ‘Good Times.’ The guitar solo in the middle of the song will have any true rocker grabbing their air guita and jamming along to it. Steer asks in ths song, “Where did all the good times go?” But again, rather than making the song into what could have easily been quite the downer of a song, it’s more contemplative without losing its rocking energy. The segue into the bluesy ‘Misty Morning’ will keep listeners locked on the album. That the band can go from rocking to blues in a matter of songs without losing anything along the way is a real tribute to this band.
The mix of rock and blues in the first three tracks of “Hot Wings” make for an excellent listen. But three tracks alone don’t make an album. Those tree tracks are followed by the classic rock feel of ‘Play The Fool.’ There are hints of some very well known classic rockers in just this one song alone. As with the previous tracks, this is one more that any fan of true rock won’t want to miss.
Perhaps the most intriguing track on the entire album is ‘Overnight.’ This straight forward jam band style song is unilke anything else on the album. Set next to the remainder of the tracks on this brand new re-issue it shows once again how much talent Firebird’s members have. It only makes fans wish the band hadn’t called it quits after just a handful of records. One can only guess, after hearing this album, and its last, “Double Diamond”, how far Firebird could possibly have gone. At least the band’s legacy will now live on thanks to this re-issue courtesy of Metal Blade Records. Who knows, maybe the label will even re-issue the band’s other albums, too, and really pay homage to one of the modern era’s best little known rock bands.
“Hot Wings” will be re-issued via Metal Blade Records next week. It will be available in stores and online at http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/band/firebird.
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