SHOOT THE CROW
Released April 2, 2012 (Hangfire)
02. For Crying Out Loud
04. Deadman Walking
05. Shoot The Crow
06. Slip Away
07. Faith In Me
08. Fire In The Hole
09. Drop The Bomb
10. Shadows Fall
11. Deadman Walking (acoustic)
Max Rhead – vocals
Lizzy Evans – guitar and vocals
Bobby Goo – bass
Matt Blakout – drums and vocals
Red Skies – additional guitars (10)
Simon ‘Ginger’ Rogers – drums (3,5,6,9,10)
Produced by Red Skies and Lizzy Evans. Engineered by Lyndon Price.
Hangfire‘s claim to fame, if you will, is that former Tigertailz drummer Matt Blakout is a member of the band. Although if you are looking for the type of outrageous glam that Tigertailz are known for you are going to be extremely disappointed with Shoot The Crow. If anything, Hangfire is closer to the post-grunge sound that helped destroy the careers of countless ’80s glam bands — Tigertailz included.
At their best Hangfire are a modern sounding blues based rock band in the vein of Underride, and at their worst they are a depressing grunge influenced affair. Some of the better efforts on Shoot The Crow are “For Crying Out Loud”, a song with a moody Led Zeppelin inspired backbone, the heavier guitar driven “Faith In Me”, The Doors-esque “Fire In The Hole” and the heartfelt “Deadman Walking”, a song that is Hangfire‘s shining moment and added as an acoustic bonus track on the end of the disc.
Unfortunately for every worthwhile number there is a droning “Bodies”, a numbing “Slip Away”, and a disjointed “Shoot The Crow” that let the listener down with their melancholy feel. I suppose asking Hangfire to insert a bit more ‘fun’ into their music would be asking a lot after dealing with the death of their original drummer, but less doom and gloom and more positive up-tempo music would have been welcomed on Shoot The Crow. Perhaps Blakout should show his new bandmates how to have a good time, and incorporate a touch of it into their music.
I’m not convinced readers of this website will fall in love with Hangfire, but those of you open to new sounds may enjoy their bleak delivery. For the type of music Hangfire deliver, they do it well — for my money though Underride are more convincing at this modern take on hard rock.
www.hangfire-rocks.co.uk – www.facebook.com/HangfireRocks
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, May 2012