Hangfire are a southern Welsh outfit that boast among their number an ex-Tigertailz man (drummer Matt Blakout) and a guitarist who is as blind as a bat (Lizzy Lee Evans). The band have been working on this album for a couple of years and now that it is out, 'Shoot The Crow' seems to be getting quite a lot of attention, the band picking up road work with likes of Marseille and Wrathchild.
Creeping perilously close to sounding like a poor man's Creed, 'Shoot The Crow' is a slab of heavy duty pub rock that takes its cues from acts such as Badlands, Black Label Society and Pride and Glory spiced with touches of eighties rock that whiff of Dokken and Ratt. In fact, this album has the grunt and structure of a good old fashioned heavy rock album from the seventies and is riddled with bits nicked from anywhere and everywhere. It will drive you mad trying to think where you will have heard them before.
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The lack of originality is not really the issue here though. More important is the lack of razzmatazz and a killer track. Yes, 'Shoot The Crow' is a good, bluesy, solid album with no bad tracks as such but nor do any grab yer by the grits.
Some come close; 'Faith In Me' with its Brother Cain groove, the Zakk Wylde infused 'Fire In The Hole' and 'Bodies' and the two versions of 'Deadman Walking' (electric and the bonus acoustic) with their subtle maudlin lilt of any number of southern bands.
That's about as good as it gets though. There being no standout as such may, I suspect, be down to the leaden production job which has done the album few favours.
As things are, it is hardly likely to set the world alight and there are too many better albums out there to prevent 'Shoot The Crow' from sinking into obscurity. However, give it ten years or so and it will probably prove itself the perfect album to get a re-issue when everyone will suddenly remember they thought it was good the first time round.