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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Fire With Fire - 2008 Fire With Fire
Fire With Fire - 2008 Fire With Fire

ARTIST: Fire With Fire
ALBUM: Fire With Fire
LABEL: Retrospect Records
YEAR: 2008
SPONSOR: Retrospect Records


LINEUP: Tim Johnson - vocals, guitars * Todd Manley - guitars, backing vocals * Rob Rivera - keyboards, backing vocals * Henny Escuchia - bass, backing vocals * Alvin Roland - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Desperate * 02 Draw The Line * 03 In The Night * 04 Who's To Blame * 05 Heartbreak Calling * 06 Sentimental * 07 Somehow * 08 Come On * 09 Free


One of the more interesting new releases from Retrospect Records is the band Fire With Fire. Long since consigned to the post Grunge graveyard of broken dreams, this New York based band (originally from Virginia) were on the brink of big things back in 1991 when these tunes were first bandied about. Taking their cue from the likes of Saints And Sinners, In The Pink (later to become Sunshine Jive), White Lion and Extreme, this band had the image, personnel and songs to at least give some of the big labels a shake during the 1991/92 time frame. Unfortunately it was not be as the Seattle scene took off with A&R agents running off after a plethora of talentless bands like giddy children! When it comes to that hair-metal/AOR crossover of genres, Fire With Fire were prime contenders, and it took the uncanny ability of Sam McCaslin to track this album (and the guys involved) down, and get the thing out there in CD land.

The Songs
Some cool keyboards open the way on 'Desperate', before venturing down a glorious path that acknowledges some of those aforementioned bands (above). 'Draw The Line' is ablaze with some heavier guitars, and is a typical hair-metal anthem of the day. A sense of urgency is delivered on 'In The Night', the whole thing galloping across the night time soundscape in a mad melodic flurry. 'Who's To Blame' is the bands power ballad entry, the quieter passages and keyboard dynamics give it an air of drama - until the guitars cut a swathe through like a six-string bully! 'Heartbreak Calling' is more melodic hair metal with some wild soloing going down mid-song. 'Sentimental' is the point of difference on the album. A lovely acoustic piece inspired by Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone's efforts with Extreme around about the same time. One of the highlights is the infectious and smooth melodic rock of 'Somehow'. The Vito Bratta styled guitar work of Manley and Johnson are prominent on this White Lion fuelled workout. 'Come On' features more wild guitars on this harder-than-thou affair. The change-up moment mid-song is different, featuring some jangly guitar lines, funky bass parts and a stop/start phase. 'Free' is the album's guaranteed footstomping track. Hard to describe, but if you can imagine 1973 era Montrose doing hair-metal then this is what it would sound like.

In Summary
Though we only get 9 songs and just under 40 minutes of run time, Fire With Fire present themselves perfectly. You really do have to wonder just how many other melodic rock contenders were out there with decent demos during the same timeframe as this lot? With Retrospect Records now shining a torch on these rarities, plus of course the recently established AOR-FM Records doing a similar thing, it won't be too long before all those underground classics are flushed out onto CD. Soon they'll be nothing left! In the meantime, a measly $12 of your hard earned wage spent on a Fire With Fire CD surely isn't too much of an ask.

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