Monday, October 29, 2012

"Flame Thrower" by Wildfire (1977)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl
[To the tune of My Old Kentucky Home]
"Oh let the sun shine bright on my happy summer home."
Filed Between: The Who and Hank Williams
Key Tracks:
Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Don't bother.  Seriously, don't bother.
Today's word is: chicanery.
When you have a band called Wildfire with an LP called "Flame Thrower," and a woman on the cover dressed in aluminum foil and wielding a fiery caulking gun, there are certain expectations.  Granted, those expectations are very low, but they are also kinda specific.
"Flame Thrower" delivers exquisitely on those expectations for exactly a song and a half.  The first six minutes sound just like I had hoped they would - a wonderfully terrible epic fail; it's a cheap, swap meet knockoff of Kiss, sort of.  The lead track blends cheesy seventies guitar, disco strings (synthesized, of course) and a bassline that can only be described as "jug band."
But then it gets weird.
Wildfire slips a gear and lurches mid-song from a hard rock band to an even more terrible version of Supertramp.  And that's where it seems like they're most content; it also seems to define their "sound." (I use that term very loosely.)  Until...
They start doing beach songs.  Not good beach songs like The Beach Boys or Dick Dale.  Oh no, it's really bad beach songs like you would hear in a drive-in B-movie beach flick that didn't even have Frankie Avalon.  So, it becomes clear that Wildfire was just born in the wrong era.  Until...
They start sounding conspicuously like T-Rex.  To be fair, this is when they sound the least like an absolute train wreck and are almost listenable.  Until...
They get to the sitar-driven, soft-rock, folkie love song.  And that was all on side one!!!  This is the point where I just gave up and did laundry while the B-side played.
So, is it an album?  No.  Observe as I go all seventh grade on this one.  "Flame Thrower?"  It's more like "Lame Thrower."  Zing!
Up next, further proof that Willie Nelson is the greatest visionary country music have ever known as we listen to one of his biggest gambles (and biggest payoffs) - "Stardust."

No comments:

Post a Comment