"Bring 'Em Out Live" (Spitfire; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This live CD from the popular melodic metal band (think Stryper and Bon Jovi and you get a pretty good idea) was recorded live on April 22, 1999 in Osaka, Japan. It's nearly 70 minutes and fifteen tracks, featuring some of the band's biggest hits ("Reach for the Sky" was the most familiar to me).

Unfortunately, the entire CD sounds "thin." The production is wispy and hollow, especially the vocals which sound almost as though they're being sung through some kind of filter. And that poor production doesn't help the songs herein, which - for the most part - have a dated sound which could have been enhanced with robust, full production. 

"Bring 'Em Out Live" is a CD for Firehouse fans only. Others new to the band will be better off sticking to their studio albums.

Firehouse: C.J. Snare - lead vocals, keyboards, tambourine; Bill Leverty - guitars, backing vocals; Perry Richardson - bass, backing vocals; Michael Foster - drums, percussion, backing vocals.

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"Hold Your Fire" (Epic; 1992)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Because the 90s had so many guitar bands trying to climb the mountain of success, the world was treated to some of the best music during that time. Being one for the 6-string assault (except when I hear a blatant rip-off) I feel complete when I hear a great guitar band put their best effort forward. 

Firehouse slapped everyone with their brand of metal when “Don’t Treat Me Bad” came out in 1991; the guitar was fast and melodic. The vocalist, C.J. Snare, could have been named C.J. Sneer by mistake and all would have thought nothing of it. 

"Hold Your Fire" hammers just as hard as their previous effort did. The band gives off a hedonistic vibe just because it's heavy metal and the chicks with stone-washed jeans knew exactly what they were doing a decade ago. The CD has a Def Leppard sound on a few songs, especially when they bring out the acoustic guitar. But citing Def Lep as one of their influences only brings out their other talents. 

The vocals are strong and C. J. can reach the sky with his voice. Bill Leverty plays like he’s in a guitar fight with himself, with solos that make air guitar an immediate must. The bass and drums blast just as hard. 

And, since every 90s guitar driven band had to have a ballad, Firehouse did not disappoint their fans and penned, “When I Look Into Your Eyes.” I’m sure it was a prom favorite. They also slipped in “Hold The Dream” at the end of the disc; it had potential to be moved up the list by my taste. 

The best blazes here are “Reach For The Sky,” “Rock You Tonight,” “When I Look Into Your Eyes,” and “Hold Your Fire.” 

Firehouse: C.J. Snare – vocals; Bill Leverty – guitars; Perry Richardson – bass; Michael Foster – drums. 

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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 ©2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 24 Mar 2019 10:55:52 -0500.