FIREHOUSE - PRIME TIME (2003, INDEPENDENT)
CJ Snare - vocals, keyboards
Bill Leverty - guitars, vocals
Michael Foster - drums, percussion, vocals
Bario Seixas - bass, vocals
Back in the day when I first heard 'Don't Treat Me Bad' from Firehouse's debut, I knew this was a band I could get into. Take a look at the back cover of the debut, the picture of the guys wearing the patterned shirts, leather pants and cowboy boots. Now, that for me is the look of 80's hard rock. Damn, they looked cool. The debut was a great album as well. A couple of filler tracks, but mostly catchy as hell and great guitar work from Bill Leverty. That was in 1990. Here we are in 2003, 13 years on from that debut and despite a couple of lack luster albums (IMO), Firehouse have rediscovered the flame (pun intended) that got my fire burning (again, pun intended) back in 1990.
The previous 3 studio albums, 'III', '0'2 and 'Category 5', disappointed me immensely. Where the hell had the rock gone? Well, I guess the guys went and found it as 'Prime Time' is the hardest Firehouse album since 'Hold Your Fire', and about time too. Another aspect of the band that has changed is that CJ isn't the only vocalist this time around. Bill handles vocals on 2 tracks. There's 'Holding On', a mid paced southern rock tinged track, and 'I'm The One', another southern belle that sounds very much like Tangier
(remember them?). Even Michael Foster gets in on the act belting out the rousing 'Door To Door' with its thumping riff and sing-a-long chorus. Let's not forget CJ Snare, whose voice is synonymous with the Firehouse sound. He is still in fine form. The title track and opener has a funk edge with CJ's signature vocals lifting an otherwise average album starter. 'Crash', on the other hand, rocks hard and is a good indication of what is to come through the rest of the album. There has a surprisingly heavy riff to 'Perfect Lie', but it gives way to a softer bridge and then the harmony-laden chorus. Bill's lead work on this is very melodic. So far there haven't been any ballads and there won't be until the final track. The band continues their good form with 'Body Language', 'Take Me Away' and 'Home Tonight', all engaging Firehouse style rockers. The ballad appears in the form of 'Let Go', and emotion tinged acoustic piece.
Anyone who had put Firehouse on the done-and-dusted pile should have a good listen to 'Prime Time'. What a great feeling to find a band you thought had lost their edge surprise you again with an album that manages to take you back in time to some great memories, while creating new ones with exciting new songs.
01 Prime Time
03 Door To Door
04 Perfect Lie
05 Holding On
06 Body Language
07 I'm The One
08 Take Me Away
09 Home Tonight
10 Let Go
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