The 1980s was of the most significant ages in the modern history of music. It was during that era that some of the biggest names in popular music rose to fame. Bands, such as Guns ‘N’ Roses, Motley Crue (who recently announced they are heading back out on the road) and Def Leppard are among the many acts whose stars rose years. For all of the well-known acts who rose to fame there were just as many who while perhaps successful, were not as well-known as others. Los-Angeles based rock and roll band Angeles was one of the bands that fell into the latter category. The band has released 11 full-length studio recordings since its formation way back in 1977. It will release its 12th album Dec. 13 through Dark Star Records. The 11-song album is a presentation that will appeal primarily to the band’s most devoted fans and the most devoted fans of the big hair era with its musical arrangements and lyrical content. One of the songs featured in the 37-minute record that the noted audiences will most enjoy comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Wicked.’ That song will be addressed shortly. ‘Anti-Social Media,’ which directly addresses the impact of social media on the world, is another work that will appeal to audiences. ‘Eye of The Storm’ is yet another notable addition to the album’s whole. Each song plays its own part in making Fire It Up a work that the noted audiences will enjoy. When they are considered along with the album’s other works, the whole of the album proves itself a work that any hair metal enthusiast will appreciate.
Veteran hair metal band Angeles’ latest full-length studio recording Fire It Up is a record that is certain to get any hair metal enthusiast and fan of the band fired up. That is due to the pure 80s rock sounds that make up the body of the album and the record’s lyrical content. One of the most notable of the songs that will appeal to the noted listeners comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Wicked.’ The song’s musical arrangement is one of those familiar brooding down-tuned works that were so common during the age of big hair and big riffs. It boasts an ominous tone that helps to illustrate the song’s lyrical message, which itself presents something quite heavy.
Singer Gwendolyn Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wicked things make great bedfellows/I live behind the corners of your mind/Watching and waiting/For the innocence/That you left behind.” She continues in the song’s second verse, “I am a neutron star/Ripping at your seams/Under your rock bottom/Chewing up your dreams/My nightmare’s listening/Listens for your screams/Until time cracks its knuckles and its neck/Your knees will buckle while you’re wondering what’s next/You think that time will let you feel and heal your fate/You think you know that truth/But you don’t know my pain. She adds in the song’s third and final verse, “I am those white lines in the sky/I am a hungry baby’s cry/I am scar tissues on your thigh/I am the killer storm/The silver on your back/I sold your soul for a bag of black/You look just like a deer/Caught in a fog light/I held you hostage in a knife fight or your life/I live between the trigger and the exit wound/I am silence sneaking through/I am wicked.” By and large, there is a lot of metaphorical speak here, with the mention of the “neutron star ripping you apart” and the “scar tissue on your thigh.” That latter note is a bit of a head scratcher. However, when the song reaches the point of the subject saying, “I live between the trigger and the exit wound,” the song’s topic seems to be come a bit clearer. The song’s subject is the negative force that is everywhere in the world. That is, at least, this critic’s interpretation. It would seem to make sense, considering that early note as Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “I live behind the corners of your mind/Watching and waiting/For the innocence/That you left behind.” It comes across as being that negative force that looks to bring down a person at the first chance, so maybe this was written by one of the band’s members as he or she was at a low point in life and trying to get out of that funk that we all reach at one point or another. To that end, the song’s brooding lyrical content and musical arrangement couple to make it a work that will resonate with a wide range of listeners. It is just one of the songs that serves to make Fire It Up an album that will appeal to the aforementioned listeners. ‘Anti-Social Media’ offers its own interest to the noted listeners.
‘Anti-Social Media’ is notable in part because of its musical arrangement, which is a stark contrast from that of ‘Wicked.’ This time out, the band – Dale Lytle (guitar), Casella (vocals, flute), Danny Basulto (drums) and Cal Shelton (bass) – presents a distinctly 80s garage rock sound instead of the brooding nature of ‘Wicked.’ It is just full-on bombast, but again, with that noted garage rock sound. Keeping that in mind, it will again appeal to a very targeted audience. The song’s raw sound works with the clear commentary in the song’s lyrical theme to add more interest to the song in whole.
There is not doubt here as to the song’s subject matter. This is another song that broaches the matter of social media and the negative impact that it has had (and continues to have) on society. Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “How many likes on Facebook did you get/That Snapchat filter makes you look like my cat/How many comments did you get on your blog/That Snapchat filter makes you look like my dog/What’s the latest fashion/What brand are those shoes/I don’t give a f***/I’ll wear whatever I choose/I’ll post on Instagram what I want you to see/Please “Like” it, “Share” it, comment/I need you to validate me.” Again, there’s no doubt left as to this song’s topic. The rest of the song follows in similar fashion, lyrically speaking. What is really interesting here is the note of the Snapchat filters making people look like an animal. That is a real filter, and for some odd reason, people do that. It makes no sense to this critic and many other sound-minded individuals. What the song does here though, is make those people who use the noted filter look like individuals who are less sound-minded. It is used as an insult in this case. That was smart writing. Given, this song is hardly the first of its kind to ever be crafted, but in an age when people really have become so dependent on social media to the point that it has become so pervasive, any song that addresses the downside of social media is good and welcome. To that end, it is just one more of the songs that will interest Angeles’ fans and those of 80s hair metal. ‘Eye of the Storm’ will also find interest among the noted audiences.
The musical element of ‘Eye of the Storm’ is again more standard 80s hair metal a la Poison, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, etc. The big riffs are there along with everything else that will appeal to fans of such music. It is a sound in this case that is quite familiar not just in that aspect, but in relation to the rest of the album’s compositions. Keeping that in mind, it will, again, appeal specifically to the band’s target audiences in itself. The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest for audiences.
The lyrical content at the heart of ‘Eye of the Storm’ is relatively straight forward. It comes across as a statement about the band’s devotion to doing what it does no matter what. This is inferred as Casella sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s the way I’m living/Few will understand/It ain’t just for the music/Playing in a rock and roll band/try to keep it together/Sittin’ on the ledge/And people Look crazy/going over the edge/there’s gonna be haters/S*** talkers, too/Stayin’ true to the music/Doing what you gotta do/It’s the eye of the storm.” This makes clear the noted statement at the song’s center. Casella continues in the song’s second verse, “The mission you can’t explain/But you stay the course/There’s gonna be casualties/But there’s no remorse/Gotta keep it together/Hanging on the ledge/But people look crazy/Going over the ledge/There’s gonna be haters/S*** talkers, too…It’s the eye of the storm.” Once again, here we have a standard song about a band and its members sticking to its convictions and aim. Yet again, this is hardly the first time that any cat has ever crafted such a lyrical presentation. Even with that in mind, the thoughts discussed here are thoughts that so many acts deal with and have dealt with. If not for maintaining their aim and convictions, audiences might not have (and have had) many of the great acts to enjoy throughout the years. It serves as a reminder to those other acts, regardless of experience, to not give up and keep following their dreams. Keeping this in mind, it stands on its own merits, and adds even more appeal to the aforementioned audiences for this album. When this song is considered alongside the likes of ‘Anti-Social Media,’ ‘Wicked’ and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of Fire It Up that will certainly get Angeles’ fans just as fired up as those fans of old school 80s hair metal.
Angeles’ latest album Fire It Up presents the veteran rock outfit as a band that still has a certain fire burning with its members. That is proven through all three of the songs noted here. They are a snapshot of the musical and lyrical content that will appeal widely to the band’s fans and those of old school 80s hair metal. The noted songs and the rest of the album’s works come together to make the record in whole, a work that will get a very distinct audience range fired up. More information on Fire It Up is available online now along with all of Angeles’ latest news and more at:
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