EZ Livin' - 'Firestorm'

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EZ Livin' - 'Firestorm'

An album full of killer hooks, great melodies, catchy guitars and outstanding vocal performances.

A tendency for many musicians of a long tenure in the music industry is to abandon their musical roots in favour of a more contemporary sound; a desperate and often vain attempt to play up to the younger audience. Luckily, this is not the case of EZ Livin' – the side project of Bonfire shredder Hans Ziller. 'Firestorm' is the second album under the moniker, this time recorded with a line-up of well-known personas including David Reece (ex Accept and Bangalore Choir), Harry Reischmann (Bonfire), Ronnie Parks (Seven Witches), Paul Morris (ex Rainbow) and Chris Lyne (ex Soul Doctor). Both a supergroup and a bunch of experienced musicians, they do not to forget how to rock and 'Firestorm' is set to prove all potential doubters wrong.

The album opens with an organ fuelled intro against the sound of rolling thunder – it's a four-minute trip we are taken for by the diabolical main character of 'That's How He Rocks', a dynamic track which, at times, reminds me of Bangalore Choir. Speak of the devil and he shall appear they say, and it is definitely so with the following song – a slightly updated version of 'Loaded Gun' originally from Bangalore Choir's spectacular first record. This is followed by 'White Lightning' which has a certain bluesy vibe to it then the obligatory power ballad – 'Let's Fly Away'. Despite the slow tempo, the Hammond-driven and semi-eponymous 'Easy Livin'' is still recognizable as a new (and interesting) version of the 1972 Uriah Heep classic.

With the last three tracks, the group's debut record 'After The Fire' comes to mind – they're basically the same musical concepts as found on the aforementioned 1991 release but re-written and re-recorded. 'Into The Night' has its roots in 'Rockin' Into The Night', 'Too Late' in 'Too Late in Paradise' and 'The Damage Is Done' in 'After The Fire' respectively. Tricky possibly, maybe even repetitive...but satisfactory music and lyric wise.

Overall, 'Firestorm' is a classy Melodic Hard Rock release and to put it simply, clear proof that EZ Livin' still rocks. The only flaw is the fact that the cover/re-written versions outnumber the original material, while the potential for new songs still exists. What I certainly hope for is to have more albums recorded by this line-up but less unearthing and re-shaping of artifacts from the past. However, 'Firestorm' remains an album full of killer hooks, great melodies, catchy guitars and outstanding vocal performances – it's definitely my kind of thing.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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