Now this, people, is how it's done!
This is melodic rock that mixes the bottomed out Gibson grunt of Black Stone Cherry with Europe's new found grit (without the keys); a not so southern Brother Cane or Sister Whiskey even. A rocked up AOR tour de force that hovers on the boundaries of Tyketto territory and deserves to be on every rockers CD shelf.
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'Firebirth' is Gotthard's tenth studio album of a long and illustrious career and is just about the best thing they've done in years. It's big, earthy, brash and brassy. It has the bottom heavy riffs that recall the seventies and howling guitars that simply will not shred. It's a bluesy hip swinger of a dance record that will be still going long after your replay button has jammed.
For killer tracks it's difficult to know where to start? 'Starlight' is a surprisingly melodic choice for the album opener that persuasively leads rather than shoves. 'Fight', 'I Can' and 'Right On' have a drive that a lot of AOR's real big hitters would kill for.
'Yippe Ay Yay' is a great dance floor stomper and 'SOS' and 'Give Me Real' would not disgrace a Tyketto (there they are again) album. Apparently trying to recall the band's roots, Gotthard wrote and recorded this in a laid back atmosphere. You can tell too because 'Firebirth' has a ton of swing and sass that comes only from being at ease with itself and its surroundings.
With only two proper lighter wavers the band have got the balance pretty much bang on; perfection.
When albums are this good there is not a whole lot to say except that 'Firebirth' is simply a fantastic record. Borrow a tenner off yer Mum and treat yersel' to a copy and have yourself a damn good time.
Shortly after Bon Scott died in 1980, AC/DC came up with their masterpiece 'Back In Black'. Gotthard have done the same thing here with new vocalist Nic Maeder. Rest In Peace Steve Lee.
Recommended without hesitation.