"Fire It Up" (Dark Star Records; 2019)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

When I first opened the package that Angeles' "Fire It Up," arrived in, and took a gander at the album cover (as seen on this page), my first thought was that they were one of those rap metal bands like Downset or something along those lines. The band's logo was in that "street" font (for lack of a better description) and the chrome skull crossed with two flaming guitars seemed to back that up. Even the band's name, Angeles, had that urban feel to it.

As soon as I heard the first track, however, the title track, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Angeles isn't rap metal at all but rather old school, Sunset strip hard rock in the vein of Motley Crue, Poison, W.A.S.P. and the like. Listening to "Fire It Up" brought me back to the early days of heavy metal when Quiet Riot was riding high on the charts and the music was just pure and fun. It's a blast to the past that kicks ass (hey, that's not a bad slogan for a t-shirt!).

With lyrics like "my happy place is where the music is loud" and "get your horns out" (with a fiery graphic on the back of the CD package with those very same horns,) "Fire It Up" is a nostalgic and extremely fun trip for the entire running time over eleven tracks. Most of the songs are heavy rockers but the few that aren't (most notably the heartfelt "Gone Too Soon") still have a serious bite.

I've listened to "Fire It Up" several times since it arrived in my mailbox and it always puts a smile on my face. And you know what? I'll listen to it again ... and often.

Angeles: Dale Lytle - guitar, electric, 6-string, 12-string; Gwendolyn Casella - vocals, flute; Danny Basulto - drums; Cal Shelton - bass guitar.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.