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Bitchfire: Bitchfire

Bitchfire: Bitchfire

Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Bitchfire's debut is a lesson in 'not judging a book by its cover' or in this case a band by their album cover or song samples on Myspace. When a PR company pitches me an artist, I instinctively preview the act on their web site or Myspace before asking for a promo. Bitchfire's songs on their Myspace account were horrid examples of their music. And the cheesy Photoshopped album cover with the scantily clad 40-something Sharyn Peach was simply, well, near Spinal Tap (or in this day, Steel Panther) quality. My first reaction: I'll pass on this one. Then, lo and behold, Bitchfire shows up in my post. Groan! But read on Dangerdog fans ...

If you've read this far, don't lose hope. Bitchfire's self-titled debut is a roaring good platter of classic melodic hard rock with a metal bloodline coursing through it. On the mic is Sharyn Peach, a long time rock vocalist from the New England area and veteran of several obscure bands you wouldn't recognize (although the first track, Headlines, credits former band She's So Loud). Her vocals (imagine Doro meets Lita) are quite impressive being well controlled, dynamic and persuasive for rock and roll. Ms. Peach is quite riveting on Pleasure Is Pain, Bitchfire, Found Me Again and Selfish Heart.

Equally impressive is the guitar fireworks of Donny Sutton-Brown: there's no novelty here, just great working class fret work enough for some fun air guitar. Take note of his fine work on Fly High, Pleasure Is Pain, and Vampire to name only a few. Robbie Plast (b) and Eddie (d) round out the rhythm section with a steady and infectious stability which grounds each song. Their highlights come on Pleasure Is Pain, Found Me Again and Run To You.

As for the songs, Bitchfire's style blurs the distinction between melodic hard rock and heavy metal throughout. A song like Fly High or Run to You could be the former, and Vampire the latter. Mostly it's a significant blend of both motifs as on Pleasure Is Pain or Toxic Waste, and it works well. Most songs have strong rock grooves with catchy and melodic riffs, vocals and choruses. Conversely, songs like Bitchfire, Toxic Waste, and Breathe find Ms. Peach playing (hopefully) the rejected and angry white female as the songs combine bitterness and unnecessary vulgarity to prove their point. It appears the days of lyrical subtlety and speculative metaphor are gone. Yet, musically these are likely three of the best songs on the album.

Don't judge an album by its cover. Bitchfire's debut album is fine platter of well-crafted, infectious melodic hard rock and heavy metal songs. Bitchfire delivers it all with acumen: melodic riffs and vocals with big hooks, catchy choruses, and stirring guitar solos. Good stuff and very recommended!

In Short

Don't judge an album by its cover. Bitchfire's debut album is fine platter of well-crafted, infectious melodic hard rock and heavy metal songs. Bitchfire delivers it all with acumen: melodic riffs and vocals with big hooks, catchy choruses, and stirring guitar solos. Good stuff and very recommended!

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