Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stop! it's the FBI!

Our next review is the release titled Fire Bird International from feel good rockers FBI. I first heard of FBI when I had the opportunity to review the Underground Something Alternative album. Their track Man Love! which they contributed to the compilation was a highlight for me, so therefore I was naturally excited when Cain (lead singer) approached me and asked whether I would be interested in reviewing their own release.

Track list
1. Man Love!
2. The Masquerade
3. Loneliness
4. Gonna Make Love
5. Haunted
6. Ghouls 'n' Ghosts
7. Man Love! (Underground Version)
8. Don't Quit Your Day Job

Fire Bird International is an album of eight fairly different tracks. It's safe to say that FBI have shown their versatility when it comes to making music. What seems to unite the tracks together are the quirky fun lyrics and song topics. Save for perhaps Loneliness which is a down tempo ballad about what some would call love.

I usually like to list some reference bands when trying to discuss what a band sounds like, but it is surprisingly different when it comes to FBI. Some songs have a hint of the Red Hot Chili Peppers while others have a dash of Blink 182.

The album opens with what for me, is their strongest track in “Man Love!” It's basically about showing your bros some good old fashioned heterosexual loving. It's infectiously catchy and gets you bouncing the way a good pop punk track should.

Since being treated to Guitar Hero World Tour for Christmas, and playing through career mode as a bassist, my ears seem to detect good bass lines in songs these days. While listening through this album, my bass line radar was going off. Case in point : 0.57 into “Gonna Make Love” The bass lines on the whole are pretty funky and remind me of some No Doubt songs. I'm talking about the days when Gwen Stefani was making good music.

While reading the album sleeve I noticed a shout out to Underground Chris B's “sexy vocals” on the track Gonna Make Love. Being hopelessly male I naturally had to investigate the so called sexy vocals. Boys, sexy they were! In fact as the song was coming to its end and the vocals becoming more provocative. My trusty laptop couldn't handle the heat and crashed. True story.

Trying to pull some sense of professionalism together after that was going to be difficult, but I managed to find myself enjoying the guitar work. Some of the distorted tones weren't doing it for me, but I was impressed greatly at the clean tones. What does that mean to none musicians? Probably sweet F all, but basically it means that the guitars generally sound pleasant. There's a usual bias that tracks recorded by independent bands sound shite, which is why I'm bringing up the subject of the guitar tones. On that note, the rest of the album is recorded pretty solidly as well.

So, why pick up Fire Bird International? If you like a CD where every song doesn't sound the same, is fun to listen to, and has great vocal melodies then its money worth spending. Best tracks for me are Man Love, Loneliness and Haunted.

Fire Bird International is available in Hong Kong from:
CD Warehouse, HK Records and White Noise Records

It is also available on line via the alivenotdead website and it will soon be available through iTunes