CD Reviews

Brother Firetribe - 'Sunbound' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 14, 2017    
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How many other albums, I wonder, will all-but-guarantee their place in my year-end Top Five at first listen?

Should you be unfamiliar with the Brother Firetribe number 'Wildest Dreams', then I would urge you to listen to it at your soonest convenience. Delivering the stadium-straddling bombast of Queen's finest late-eighties anthems, its four minutes are a tumescent tidal wave of soaring emotive majesty capable of rousing goose-bumps on a mannequin; it's one of the very finest songs that this pair of ears has ever had the pleasure of hearing. So, bar raised high (by the Finnish quintet themselves...), how do the contents of 'Sunbound' measure up to the aforementioned anthem? Well, if I hear another new song as fine as 'Indelible Heroes' this year then I'll be thrilled – synth-driven yet righteously Rockin'... I absolutely love it!

Overall BF's fourth studio album has a strong soundtrack-like dynamic, from the Baywatch-style drums on the opening (instrumental) title track to a brilliant cover of John Parr's 'Restless Heart'. The latter is especially classy as Parr's original version featured in the closing scene/end credits of 'The Running Man' – this reviewer's favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

Elsewhere, 'Taste Of A Champion' was patently written as a Rocky-style homage and, although it verges on fromage, sheer conviction manages to snatch it a victory, while the breezy synthesizers of 'Last Forever' evoke memories of the 'Drive' soundtrack.

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Huge credit must go to producer/keyboardist Tomi Nikulainen for the finely balanced mix of eighties atmosphere and contemporary dynamics which, inadvertently, knocks the shine off their still-fine previous release, 2014's 'Diamond In The Firepit'.

Vocalist Pekka Ansio Heino delivers consummately throughout while guitarist Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) arguably lays a claim to shaping much of Brother Firetribe's signature sound, thanks to his crisp, song-focussed virtuosity. In the engine room the rhythm section of Jaakko Flinck and Hannes Pirilä (on bass/drums respectively) keep things motoring with the power of an AMG V8.

'Sunbound' is only the third of many albums that I'll be reviewing for Fireworks in 2017 – how many others, I wonder, will all-but-guarantee their place in my year-end Top Five at first listen?

Caesar Barton

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