Bill Steer (ex-Carcass) hooks up with members of Cathedral and Spiritual Beggars? Sounds extremely promising. Thus it's extremely disappointing that Firebird sounds like a bar band most of the time, the best bar band in town but a bar band nonetheless. The right elements are occasionally present -- the weighty blues riff of "Stranger to Himself," the distorted bass rumble on "One Trick Pony," the acoustic Zeppelin-ish intro that leads into "Through the Fields." However, any potential is stunted by either bland changes or bland production. The only real bright spot is "Bollard," where a cool, lava lamp moodiness is offset by Steer's dense bottom-end guitar. Steer's vocals, nearing Jack Bruce territory, are also a strong point but cannot save the whole album. It's a plus that Firebird sounds nothing like Carcass but, because of the connection, one still expects a certain level of inventiveness and drive. Firebird come up lacking on both these points; hopefully the band will still find its voice and not settle on the sound of this debut.
Bill Steer (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Ludwig Witt (drums)
Leo Smee (bass)
1 Meantime Steer 2:35
2 Torn Down Steer 3:38
3 Stranger to Himself Capaldi, Winwood 5:29
4 Bollard Steer 4:32
5 One-Trick Pony Steer 3:27
6 Raise a Smile Steer 3:29
7 Hardened Sole Steer 5:23
8 Fat Cat Groan Steer 3:44
9 Caught in the Quamire Steer 4:34
10 Through the Fields Steer 6:43
Simply classic. Great riffs, superb melodies and strong production. Not a duff track on the album.
Bill Steer, former six-stringer with Napalm Death and Carcass, takes a more mellow approach, but still kicks ass like a trooper.
The album has hints of Free, Deep Purple and other great bluesy 70's rock dinosaur influences, all wrapped up in one gargantuan sound.
Bill sings with a whistful, yet strong voice one would not have imagined from a former death metal thrasher. Every track has a fantastic groove and melodies to boot.
All writing credits go to Steer, but this feels very much like a 'band' release rather than a solo project.
Great to see him back after a long spell of inactivity, with an album that proves whatever style he chooses to play, his unique brilliance always shines through.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)