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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Roadfever - 2009 Wheels On Fire
Roadfever - 2009 Wheels On Fire

ARTIST: Roadfever
ALBUM: Wheels On Fire
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2009
SPONSOR: Roadfever (Manou Pike & David Pariat)


LINEUP: Manou Pike - lead and backing vocals * David Pariat - guitar, bass, backing vocals * Jessie Be - bass * Pascal Bavaud - drums

Additional Musicians: Didier Blum - drums * Michel Klaus - fretless bass * Phil Risch & Stephane Montinaro - shakers and percussion * Piero Di Perri - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wheels On Fire * 02 Do The Right Thing * 03 Break Down The Walls * 04 Can't Feel Your Soul * 05 Runaway Train * 06 Outside * 07 Burnout * 08 City Of Angels * 09 Hellbound * 10 Roadfever * 11 Death Valley



Last year we had the highly entertaining Swedish band Bullet blaze their way through the GDAZE writers 'best of' lists. Their immense AC/DC meets Accept style of mayhem struck a chord with many, especially their lead singer who really could stand in for Brian Johnson if Acca Dacca were ever caught short for a lead singer at the eleventh hour. Notwithstanding, we had young Aussies Airbourne also doing mighty deeds away from their home town of Warrnambool. In a similar vein though less hard-hitting are Swiss newcomers Roadfever. Steeped in the tradition that made current Suisse faves Gotthard and Shakra such a hit, I doubt it will take long for this quartet to reach dizzy heights. They have a headstart living up among the Swiss Alps, but seriously, the riffarama on 'Wheels On Fire' is gratuitous rocking with a nod to the aforementioned bands, chuck in some southern rock/melodic hard rock a la Tangier and you've got a good idea as to what's tearing up the rock n roll highway! The points of difference are female lead singer Manou Pike (who is of British/Australian origins) and the magnificent riffing of six-stringer David Pariat. Aah, a Les Paul Gibson has never sounded so good! This band should be down under in Australia tearing up the pub circuit, such is their appeal. I reckon they'd have a good time among the red dust!

The Songs
Unusually for GDAZE, this is an album that features no keyboards. It's just straight-up hard riffing, with a southern swagger in places, plus the well-worn chords that we know so well from the bands mentioned above. The hard-wired sound of the opening title track is balls to the wall rock, familiar and yet unique with Manou proving to be the difference. More crunching guitars from David Pariat makes 'Do The Right Thing' a weighty proposition, but it's not until we get to 'Break Down The Walls' that Roadfever escape their well-worked pattern for something with a bit more depth and colour. Some nice melodies can be found on the chorus. I just love the guitar sound on this album, it's reinforced on 'Can't Feel Your Soul', and when Roadfever dip into ballad territory as on 'Runaway Train' it's with the same swinging style that Bon Jovi made popular with their late 80's/early 90's cowpoke material. Getting back to the full-frontal AC/DC/Airbourne attack is 'Outside', driven along by a solid bass backbone provided by bassist Jessie Be.

'Burnout' might sound like an ode to all the petrol heads out there, but it's not, more like emotional/relationship burnout instead. Whatever the case, the riffs are still being dispensed with the same fervor that Stryper had when they were dishing out bibles all those years ago! 'City Of Angels' is more of a flowing semi-ballad, without the fire and brimstone of earlier tracks. 'Hellbound' is a huge 70's sounding blast, with an anthemic gang chorus and a guitar tone that has been blitzed through a wah pedal or two. The track 'Roadfever' is the closet to the fury presented by Bullet from last year. Though the vocals are obviously different, the attitude and gang-chant choruses, not withstanding the 'Angus' styled axework from Pariat is killer stuff! Closing up with 'Death Valley', the jangly acoustic guitar is prevalent all the way through, the band opting to close out in a mild manner rather than the obligatory 'bang'.

In Summary
The cover is kinda cool don'tcha think? First impressions and you're thinking the movie 'Ghost Rider' with Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. It is with that same reckless abandon that one should approach Roadfever and their hard rockin' southern style, even if they are kind of geographically displaced by living up in Switzerland. 'Wheels On Fire' is guaranteed to get your aural senses spinning. watch out for the burnin' rubber. How about we forget about Swineflu for the moment, and get a taste of Roadfever instead!

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