Friday, May 13, 2011

Shhhhhh! Come on, just act like everyone else. You'll fit in just fine.

I thought this title was fitting. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to include some hard rock in a metal blog, as many bands frequently cross back and forth between boundaries of the two genres. Truthfully, the line between hard rock and metal is sometimes tough pick up on unless one has considerable listening experience.

Well, what should I say here? Oh, yes... Firehouse are one of my absolute favorite hard rock bands, but that shouldn't surprise you. Pretty much everything I've blogged about so far is something I enjoy. Don't worry, I'm going to bash some things later. Stay tuned...

Firehouse formed at the tail end of the '80s ('89 to be exact), so they were taking quite a chance playing a style of music (i.e. metal and hard rock) that was rapidly going out of style in the mainstream. Grunge ultimately proved to an unbeatable enemy unless, say, you were Metallica, but don't get me started on their antics.

Anyway, on many of their songs, Firehouse hold metallic elements, particularly in the guitar playing, which isn't unexpected because they were influenced by a number of bands that ranged from metal and hard rock, among other things. The guitar tone on their debut is superb, with big meaty riffs with a nice distortiony sound that isn't compressed. It's hard for me to find a fault on their debut, as well, but if I had to choose a weak spot it would definitely be "Love of a Lifetime." The world be a better place without so many ballads.

Now, if I find you calling Firehouse glam or hair metal, I'm going to give you a nice sock in the gut. Glam / hair metal isn't even a real genre of music! It does nothing to describe a band's musical qualities, only their appearance. Well, how can a word (genre or subgenre to be exact) describe musical qualities? In all truth it doesn't, but common musical attributes are eventually associated with whatever the word is. What does hair / glam metal describe? NOTHING. Too frequently bands were unfairly lumped under that label. You want an example? Tesla. Tesla had zilch to do with that. Hair / glam bands could be a plethora of different things, like heavy metal, power metal, hard rock, or even pop... (Yes, I'm looking at you Poison. You're disguised as a hard rock band, but you're little more than sugar-coated pop.). Firehouse is simply a hard rock band that gussied up their hair a little bit. Nothing extreme and no make-up. Thank god.

I'll post my favorite Firehouse song (and it's from their debut). No, it was never a hit, but it slays anything they ever did that was well known.

No comments:

Post a Comment