Metal Blade Keeps “Spreading Its Wings” With Firebird Re-Issue

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

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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Metal Blade hits a bulls eye with Gentleman’s Pistols debut re-issue

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Rise Above Records

Metal Blade records has been known in the music community as the leader in metal for three decades.  But in recent years, the label has started to branch out, including more mainstream acts the likes of King’s X, Horisont, and others.  Now, Metal Blade has hit the bull’s eye yet again with the re-issue of Brit rockers Gentleman’s Pistols debut self-titled record.

The inclusion of Gentleman’s Pistols to the label’s roster is yet more proof of what makes Metal Blade still the leader in the hard rock and metal community.  GP’s debut record is one of those no nonsense, straight forward, balls-to-the-walls hard rock records that will leave listeners breathless by the time it ends.  Of the album’s ten tracks, only a few break the three minute mark.  One of those few songs is the bluesy ‘Heavy Petting.’  Singer/guitarist James Atkinson sings on this song, “Heavy Petting in the park/Heavy petting in the zoo/Heavy petting in the dark/Heavy petting with you/Cause you’re my woman/yes you are.”  It’s pretty obvious what he’s singing about here.  The Black Sabbath-esque bass in this song makes it something really amazing to hear.

‘Heavy Petting’ is one of very few slower songs on the band’s self-titled debut.  Fans of the band’s more up-tempo, adrenaline drenched songs get plenty of that in the Clutch-esque opener ‘Just a Fraction’, ‘Widow Maker’, and ‘Lying & Fooling.’  There’s even a touch of old school punk rock in ‘Vivid Wonder’ and ‘Out of The Eye.’  ‘Mistress Mistrust’ stands out on its own merits, too with its neo-classic rock (contradiction in terms there, huh?) vibe. 

Gentleman’s Pistols now have two records on the market.  The band’s second album bears some similarity to its self-titled debut.  And while it’s just as good as the band’s debut, fans can only say thank you to Metal Blade Records for re-issuing this record.  Very rarely does a band have such a positive impact on its debut, and follow that up with an equally impressive sophomore effort.  The short and simple of this re-issue is that for fans who have never heard the work of Gentleman’s Pistols, this record is a flat ten on a scale of one to ten.  In an era when so much rock is either dark, moody stuff laced with cookie monster growls, a band such as this is a welcome change of pace.  It goes back to the golden days of rock and roll.  What’s more, it proves even more why Metal Blade Records is the leader in hard rock and metal today.

The band’s album is available now.  It can be bought in stores and online at http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/band/gentlemans-pistols.  Fans can get the latest news and more from Gentleman’s Pistols online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gentlemans-Pistols/340601796105, http://www.myspace.com/gentlemanspistols, http://twitter.com/#!/gentspistols and http://gentlemanspistols.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.