Firehouse Firehouse (Epic) 1990

1. "Rock on the Radio" (4:46)
2. "All She Wrote" (4:27)
3. "Shake and Tumble" (3:31)
4. "Don't Treat Me Bad" (3:56)
5. "Oughta Be a Law" (3:55)
6. "Lover's Lane" (4:03)
7. "Home is Where the Heart Is" (4:49)
8. "Don't Walk Away" (4:32)
9. "Seasons of Change" [instrumental] (1:30)
10. "Overnight Sensation" (3:57)
11. "Love of a Lifetime" (4:46)
12. "Helpless" (4:26)

It's a shame that the music industry and listenrs alike abandoned hard rock and metal in the early '90's. Firehouse surely could have been the next "big" group. Unfortunately, as with most hard rock bands in the 90's, grunge was the demise of good time rock 'n' roll and brought on a decade of musical depression. (I said it then, and I still believe it now, grunge sucks!) While Firehouse did beat out Nirvana and Alice in Chains for best new group at the Grammys and their album sales for this record were impressive, it was quite apparent even before their next CD that their time was limited. What a shame because Firehouse are just good American hard rock. Not overtly glammy, yet with plenty of commercial appeal. Oh and almost forgot to mention that "Seasons of Change" is an excellent acoustic instrumental.

Hold Your Fire Firehouse - Hold Your Fire (Epic) 1992

1. "Reach for the Sky" (4:48)
2. "Rock You Tonight" (4:35)
3. "Sleeping With You" (3:51)
4. "You're Too Bad" (3:38)
5. "When I Look Into Your Eyes" (4:00)
6. "Get in Touch" (5:24)
7. "Hold Your Fire" (3:52)
8. "The Meaning of Love" (4:11)
9. "Talk of the Town" ( 4:38)
10. "Life in the Real World" (3:36)
11. "Mama Didn't Raise no Fool" (4:01)
12. "Hold the Dream" (5:03)

Just a bit heavier than their debut, but pretty much in the same formula. As a matter of fact, "When I Look Into Your Eyes" is somewhat of a copy of "Love Of A Lifetime". However, while the self-titled debut may be the source of most of the band's attention, I really think this CD is a step above the debut. Once thing I noticed was the similarity that vocalist C.J. Snare sounds very similar to Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), especially on some of the more commercial tracks such as "Sleeping With You." I actually prefer the harder rockers to the ballads. "You're Too Bad" and "Rock For the Sky" have the same appeal to me as bands like Slaughter and Skid Row; they are just good 'ol American hard rock 'n' roll.

3 Firehouse – 3 (Epic) 1995

1. Love is a Dangerous Thing (4:47)
2. What's Wrong (4:33)     
3. Somethin' 'bout Your Body (4:43)   
4. Trying to Make a Living (4:26)    
5. Here for You (3:55)     
6. Get a Life (4:22)   
7. Two Sides (4:26)     
8. No One at All (3:37)      
9. Temptation (4:29) 
10. I Live My Life For You (4:24)

Firehouse are one band that no one can say was a ‘sellout’ band. They have stuck to their musical guns despite the changing landscape of hard rock in the 1990’s. Having said that, I do think “3” was a slight departure from the pure party rock of the first two studio albums, adding in more acoustic driven songs. However, for the most part Firehouse stayed the course musically, recording another album of safe as sugar-free, vanilla ice cream, melodic hard rock. The album starts off with a few hard rock songs with a slight funk vibe to them. “Somethin’ bout Your Body” in particular has a bit of a bump and grind feel to it. Had any of these songs been released in 1988, instead of 1995, I would imagine that they would have been very well received by hair metal fans, if not rock radio hits. Some pop-country star should do a remake of “Trying to Make a Living”; the lyrics and overall feel of this song would do very well in this format. As it is presented in here, this is a catchy pop rocker with lyrics about the daily 9-5 grind and paying those never ending bills. Vocalist CJ Snare has such a great, smooth voice for this type of pop rock. “Here For You” is one of those  sticky sweet, acoustic ballad that will make most guys wanna wretch. If this song hasn’t been used for someone’s wedding song, I’d be surprised. “No One At All” is a similar acoustic guitar driven ballad.  “Temptation” has a funky hard rock vibe to it, while album closer “I Live My Life For You” is yet another acoustic guitar ballad that too is just tailor made for girls. This song very well may be someone’s wedding song as well. Personally I would have liked to have had a few more of those rockers, and less of the ballads.  When this band rocks, such as they did on album opener “Love is a Dangerous Thing” and “Temptation”, they are quite good.

Firehouse - O2 (Spitfire) 2000

1. "Jumpin'" (3:44)
2. "Take It Off" (3:51)
3. "The Dark" (4:36)
4. "Don't Fade on Me" (4:47)
5. "I'd Rather Be Making Love" (3:59)
6. "What You Can Do" (3:36)
7. "I'm in Love This Time" (3:45)
8. "Unbelievable" (4:13)
9. "Loving You Is Paradise" (4:29)
10. "Call of the Night" (4:21)

Mixed emotions about this one. I read a review of this disc that basically stated that this album would have been good if the year wasn 1986. Whatever! Good music is timeless, and Firehouse play well crafted, good time, rock n' roll. Because this CD was released in 2000 doesn't make it any less a quality album. It is quite obvious that Firehouse are not trying to be "the next big thing" or they would not have stuck to their guns and retained their melodic rock sound. Actually, while people seem to put this type of music in the 80's category, it was actually the early 90's that produced the biggest batch of slick, hard rockers like Firehouse. AMG, one the net's biggest review sites, also give this disc a bad review, stating that the music is stale and the vocalist has a "signature '80s whiny" sound. Again I say, WHATEVER! Because Firehouse incorporate a singer that can actually sing, he is whiney? Isn't it the angry, new crop of 'alterna-pop-rock' bands that are actually whining about EVERYTHING that should be considered whining? C.J. Snare is far from a whiny vocalist. OK, granted I am a bit tired of hearing lyrical themes like "Take it Off". I gotta admit, the lyrical themes seem a bit juvenile for a band that's been around for as long as Firehouse, but it's certainly better than the alternative. Those use to hearing the nu-metal crop rag and complain about their awful, pathetic lives may not like hearing songs about love, happiness and having a good time. While I fight defending this type of good time r-n-r, there are a few negatives to this CD. The white-boy-wanna-rap-crap in "The Dark" threw me for a loop. I got the feeling, however, that C.J. Snare may have been doing this more tongue-and-cheek than anything serious. Also, the songwriting seems a bit more primitive than the band's back catalogue. It's almost like they regressed back to the garage. Perhaps this was their way of retaining their style while attemptin to sound more modern. On the positive side, the somewhat Southern rock bend of "I'm in Love This Time" was quite nice and "Don't Fade of Me" is a very good song. To sum up, if all you care about is what is cool on MTV, then move along, Firehouse isn't for you. However, if you are wanting a good, melodic, yet hard rock n roll CD, then check out some of the band's back catalog first. This is probably not the best disc to start with.

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