Tuesday, June 2, 2009

UK Blues Week: Phoenix of Rock

We're going to send things a little more traditional today, with a non-traditional background. I've spent an entire year complaining about how the UK has been producing almost no new blues/rock artists (after nearly redefining the genre with bands like Zeppelin and the Stones). As such, this week, I figured I'd dig a little deeper and try to save a bit of face for the old Brits.

When you take the guitarist from bands such as Carcass and Napalm Death, you do not expect his next project to be a blues out rock band (ok, with enough riffs to destroy the known universe). After playing metal and doom for over 10 years, Bill Steer got fed up and wanted to find something more pure. As such, he struck out on his own, took a few friends along and formed the band Firebird in 1999.

Firebird really became a fantastic premise for a band; take 3 artists who had been playing heavy, hard, technical metal their whole lives, and breathe some blues and soul into the equation. You get a hard rock blues band who still knows how to tear paint off the walls. Unfortunately, they were plagued with a rotating lineup of band members, primarily due to other band commitments. Even Steer, the mainstay, shelved the project for a while however has recently come back onto the scene and just released their latest, hardest effort yet, Grand Union.

Take a listen below, and if you have a chance, go to their myspace and listen to Silent Stranger. What a riff!

-Who told you what we were fighting for?