"Persecution Guaranteed'" (Kickoff Records; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

(Coming Soon)

"Truth or Consequences" (Self-produced; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Firesign's "Truth or Consequences" reminds me of "Little Miss Dangerous"-era Ted Nugent. Depending on your point of view, that's either a good or a bad thing. Personally, I think it sounds a little better. I found "Truth or Consequences" to be an exhilarating lungful of fresh air. I kept reaching for my volume knob as the CD progressed - I needed it louder and louder.

"Truth or Consequences" has a slight Southern twinge (surprising seeing as the band is from Germany), its guitars are rock solid and razor sharp, and the songs are beautifully crafted. Lead vocalist Steve Hayden even sounds a little like vintage Nuge (and sometimes like Megadeth's Dave Mustaine).

It doesn't take any time at all to start liking "Truth or Consequences." "Ride on the Highway," with its introductory Harley Davidson rumble, kicks things off nicely and the CD barely slows down from there (taking a breather around track five with "Comin' on Still Strong," a ballad that Poison could have recorded.) The other tunes are all heavy hard rockers in the same vein as Sammy Hagar or the aforementioned Mr. Nugent. Even the instrumental track, "Eyes of Maelstrom," kicks some serious ass, even though it fakes you out a bit in the beginning with some brief acoustic fretwork.

"Truth or Consequences" will get a lot of play in my CD player because it reminds me that hard rock doesn't have to be extreme to get the job done.

By the way, the production here is nothing short of stellar. If you didn't know this was self-produced, you'd never guess it from listening.

Firesign: Steve Heyden - lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, acoustics 6-string, background vocals; Arthur Schlichting - lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic 12-string, background vocals; Rudi Brandelick - bass, background vocals; Klaus Enderlin - drums, background vocals.

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"Wheelin' an' Dealin'" (Self-produced; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Firesign are a good ol' boy, hard rock'n'roll band. Make no bones about it, these guys rock in a raucous party manner that will kick your ass in the purest, rawest sense.

Chunky guitar chords, throbbing bass, solid drums and classic rock vocals make Firesign the kind of band fans of David Lee Roth-era Van Halen have been looking for. In fact, there are a couple of instrumental tracks that - while they lack the fiery originality of Eddie's work - are incendiary enough to warrant special mention.

But it's not just Van Halen that comes to mind when listening to "Wheelin' an' Dealin'." Also present are ghosts of "Turbo Lover"-era Judas Priest, Guns N'Roses and (!) Molly Hatchet. Like those bands, Firesign depends heavily on guitar and accessible songwriting. And you know what? It works.

Those looking for a pure rock celebration of the late 80s / early 90s need look no further than Firesign. Finely produced by the band's Steve Heyden, "Wheelin' an' Dealin'" is a blast of a CD.

Firesign is: Steve Heyden - lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars; Klaus Enderlin - drums, backing vocals; Arthur Schlichting - guitars; Rudi Brandelick - bass.

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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 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:20 -0400.