Line of Fire – ‘Purple Sky’ EP review

Band: Line of Fire
EP: Purple Sky
Release Date: 26th February, 2016
Label: Self Released

 

 

Review by John

With three previous EPs behind them, and a few years worth of high quality live shows, Nottingham’s self styled “Down without the heroin” return with a three track EP, their first release since they brought in Ste from Incinery to fill their vacant drummers slot (while at the same time massively reducing the average age of the band!), available exclusively as an online download only.

What’s on offer here is one new track, which you may have heard if you’ve seen them live in the last few months, and two re-recorded offerings, one each from their last two EPs. The title track, ‘Purple Sky’, is the new track on offer here, starting in a soft psychedelic  haze, before erupting into an epic slice of heavy southern blues based rock, with frontman Baz Shaw proclaiming “I can help you lose your mind” in his trademark rasp, which has to be the product of years of sustained vocal training via the medium of Capstan Full Strength and copious amounts of Jack Daniels.  It quickly drags you in, and is a sound choice as a taster for what is to come on their long gestating debut album (due any century now).

Second track ‘Lifetime Alone’ originally appeared on their second EP ‘Hear Me Scream’.  Now I’ll be honest – I’m not a big fan of bands going back and messing with older songs.  But dammit, if this doesn’t surpass the original in pretty much every conceivable way – and it was a damn good song to begin with.  A longstanding staple of their live set, this slow, almost melancholy rocker has been, to put it bluntly, well and truly heavied up.  Faster, more frantic and downright essential.  The vocals are cleaner, the riffs are heavier.  All scepticism about tinkering with old material soon washed away.

And this brings us to the final track, and a reboot of what is, in this writer’s humble opinion, not only the best song in their back catalogue, but (and I don’t say this lightly), one of the best songs EVER written.  I’ve always considered ‘Wrong Side Of The Track’ to be the best song Lynyrd Skynyrd never wrote.  Which left the problem of how do you improve on perfection?  Well, frankly this is how.  Normally the closer to their set, it’s a bluesy rock masterpiece, which sounded good enough on their third EP ‘Nowhere To Run’, but always came properly into it’s element live.  If ever a song was designed to get you waving your lighter in the air, this is it.  Unashamedly emotional and fantastic to belt out at the top of your lungs while very drunk (not that I have ever done that, obviously), this does exactly what a truly great song should do.  It sends shivers down the spine.  It brings a tear to the eye.  It makes you realise just how important music is.  The twin guitar assault of Paddy O’Malley (yes, the artist also known as Schizo Rotary Sprintmaster from Lawnmower Deth) andthe ever smiling diminutive Scotsman Dave Lamont is brought into it’s own here, and gives you a good indication of just what this band are capable of.If you ever wondered exactly what it would sound like if Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival got into a drunken fight in a pub toilet with Down and Black Sabbath (and, let’s face it, we all have), you can find your answer here.

Given a whole new dimension with the recruitment of their new drummer, Line of Fire are a band very much on the up.  If you get the chance, catch them live – you will not be let down.  And if you’re at Hammerfest, do not miss them.  I’ll be the slightly squiffy middle aged fat bloke singing along very loudly. And incredibly badly…

9score

 

Track Listing:
01 Purple Sky
02 Lifetime Alone
03 Wrong Side Of The Track

 

Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lineoffire666