Monday, November 7, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

FIREHOUSE “Firehouse” (1990)

Firehouse is a part of the last wave of glam metal bands that struggled and survived the grunge invasion, thanks to their double-platinum eponymous debut that put them on the map and won the Best New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Band of 1991 at American Music Award. Their musical direction is pure melodic hard rock with some sleaze and blues, mostly displayed by the strength of sing-along choruses, memorable riffs, and an overall happy vibe. Singer C.J. Snare has a very unique and terrific high pitch vocal, similar to Mark Slaughter or Michael Sweet's squeal, and Bill Leverty puts out some beautiful guitar work all over the songs.

While they started off bumpy with a weak song, "Rock On The Road", the next three tracks are enough to get a high rating. "All She Wrote" is a great uptempo classic, "Shake And Tumble" unleashes a nasty groove, and "Don't Treat Me Bad" is an awesome slab of catchy hard rock. "Lover's Lane" is a bad-ass rocker with a really great riff, "Don't Walk Away" is a good bluesy experiment, "Helpless" is probably unknown to many but a wonderful closer with a big chorus, and "Love of A Lifetime" is a timeless ballad and everybody knows this song. However, in my opinion, the true gem of this album is "Overnight Sensation", from the Snare's screamintro to the commercial and bombastic chorus, this song came out as the champion.

The production level is quite thin, so you have to crank up the volume for maximum pleasure, but the details are crisp and clear, so it's still an acceptable situation. With a couple of decent tracks and the unnecessary instrumental fill of "Seasons of Change", this album still stands high above par. An essential album to have if you're fond of a high quality melodic hard rock output, a classic!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.