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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » Cell Mates - 1992 Between Two Fires
Cell Mates - 1992 Between Two Fires

ARTIST: Cell Mates
ALBUM: Between Two Fires
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: 2392 75251-2
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Pamela Mattioli - vocals * Paula Mattioli - vocals * Mike Stone - guitar, backing vocals * Galen Walker - guitar, backing vocals * Jussi Tegelman - drums * Gary Montemer - bass, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bottle Of Sin * 02 Glass Mountain * 03 Bird In A Gilded Cage * 04 Between Two Fires * 05 Spirit Is Willing * 06 You're My Obsession * 07 A Sister's Love * 08 (It's Close) But It Ain't Love * 09 Time Marches On * 10 All Funked Up * 11 Take Care Of Yourself

Pamela and Paula Mattioli are twin sisters who first came to notice with their Miami based rock band Gypsy Queen. Their 1987 album was prominently featured in the mag rags of the day, the band also came out to Europe to support it. I first took an interest as Metal Hammer took a liking to them, and gave them coverage. Why is it that magazines think they can sell more copies by putting a photo of a sheila or two on the cover or within its pages? Hah. Unfortunately, Gypsy Queen didn't quite work out, so the twins headed for El-Lay a few years later to kick start Cell Mates. Signed to Scotti Bros, this is an underrated CD and not as throwaway as many might think. The band members are unknowns to me, but they sound sort of cool with a tough hardened bluesy form of melodic rock. Like a beefed up Saraya. The other obvious comparison is to Aussie sisterly pairing Cheetah, but the Mattioli's are a pretty gritty pairing themselves..

The Songs
You hear these comparisons as early as the first track: 'Bottle Of Sin', which was also the single from the album. The guitars and the vocals in particular sound fantastic. 'Glass Mountain' has a catchy vibe, I like the way the chorus comes together on a whiskey soaked verse. The band ease up for the GnR styled 'Bird In A Gilded Cage', but gathers some firepower toward the end. The title track 'Between Two Fires' is a powerful bluesy rocker played in a funtime romp a la Van Halen. The twins are literally on fire, an enjoyable rouser for sure. 'Spirit Is Willing' is an 80's sounding track, while 'You're My Obsession' is a change of style for Cell Mates, an acoustic rocker mainly, with an understated electric presence. Back to the heavier side of the band, 'A Sister's Love' is a pretty cranky tune with a load of power vocals by Pam and Paula. '(It's Close) But It Ain't Love' is a distinct bluesy rock offering, sort of like a heavier Alannah Myles which is no bad thing at all! 'Time Marches On' has a Beatles like vibe, though played in a heavier context obviously. Changing lanes again, this time 'All Funked Up' is a big sounding track, with funk at its core. This is good too with some useful brass, which was thankfully less intrusive than the recent Osukaru 'Triumphant' article I wrote a few days ago. The closing 'Take Care Of Yourself' is a mild mid-tempo tune that takes the band out on a less intense but still melodic tide.

In Summary
I have had this CD for years but left it on the shelf without giving it much attention until now. My loss. This band didn't last too long unfortunately, even shorter than the history of Gypsy Queen. Beyond 1992, the twins were in and out of the media, appearing in video and eventually joined up with fun rockers Jack Mack And The Heart Attack as lead vocalists. Cell Mates is one of those CD's that remains very underrated, but there are more than a few good moments here. Investigate with assurance.

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