Firebird
Hot Wings

It’s still a bit strange to listen to hard-rockin’ UK group Firebird and remember their lineage: for the first twelve years of his musical career, frontman Bill Steer was one of a handful of the premier guitarists in extreme heavy metal. His first high-profile gig was playing on the first two albums by Napalm Death, pioneers of the grindcore metal subgenre, and in 1988 he founded the grind band Carcass, one of the most respected and influential names in metal. Hearing him go from Carcass’ shredding glory to the Cream-styled blues rock of Firebird is like classic Metallica suddenly covering old Hank Williams songs: it’s utter disappointment.

However, the rock that they craft is well done, especially the crunch and melody of “Carousel,” “Horse Drawn Man,” and “Needle in the Groove.” “Bow Bells” brandishes a lazy slide guitar right out of Led Zeppelin’s classic “In My Time of Dying.” “Play the Fool” features more slide guitar, while “Overnight” plugs some heavy funk à la Average White Band. If you can get past the album’s title (the #1 dumbest of the year) not being a reference to Buffalo wings, then dig into Hot Wings for rock that’s finger-lickin’ good.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
October 2nd, 2006

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