Bitchfire – s/t (2009, independent release)
- Fly High
- Pleasure Is Pain
- Found Me Again
- Toxic Waste
- Selfish Heart
- Run To You
Sharyn Peach – Vocals
Donny Sutton-Brown – Guitars
Robbie Plast – Bass
Eddie D. – Drums & Percussion
Producers: Mark Karmatz & Bitchfire
Total Time = 46:45
I have no idea sometimes why I want certain CDs. Over the last few months I kept reading mixed reviews on Ft. Lauderdale’s Bitchfire and I somehow got it in my head that I just had to have their debut disc. Maybe it was the album cover? Maybe it was the New England connection (lead singer Sharyn Peach is from the Boston music scene)? Maybe the band’s name juts kept coming up? Needless to say, I bought it.
Bitchfire plays your basic melodic Hard Rock bordering on all out Melodic Metal with a ton of aggression and emotion. The band is tight and music is completely guitar driven with a solid rhythm section. The obvious selling point is singer Sharyn Peach, just look at the album cover. Not sure how old she is, I’m going to guess late 30s like myself, and she looks really good. Disregard the album cover picture that makes her look like Pop diva Pink (I swear I thought it was Pink at first!), check out the pictures inside for a better idea. Sharyn isn’t all looks, she has the pipes to match, her delivery reminding me a lot of early Lita Ford, some Doro Pesch and maybe Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatale). Songs like the melodic opener ‘Headlines’, the metallic ‘Fly High’ and ‘Pleasure Is Pain’ have this cool old school ’80s Metal vibe. You can hear the basic influences on these three tracks: early Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept. These tracks are also the best tracks because after that there is a string of similar sounding songs that do not benefit from the Alanis Morrisette styled lyrics of love scorned and revenge. The lyrics to ‘Bitchfire’ take away from the music and the overall Accept vibe of ‘Found Me Again’ sounds less brutal with the simplistic lyrics. Makes you wonder if Sharyn Peach just had a real bad relationship recently.
‘Toxic Waste’ opens with an siren and a cool bassline that moves into the main riff…..sounds heavy but the love torn lyrics just kill it. I like the spooky old school guitar intro to ‘Vampire’ and the main riff sounds like your meat & potatoes style ’80s Metal like early Crue or maybe Bitch. ‘Breathe’ heads into more of a straight ahead Hard Rock direction but the lyrics, and this time the vocals, bring the song down…..the simple vocal on this song could use a little more attitude and the harmonies seem a little off-balance. The good news is that ‘Selfish Heart’ surprises with it’s power ballad/mid-tempo style, I like the haunting guitar lines and the subtle basslines and Sharyn does a great job with the vocals. The lyrics are more of the well worn love scorned theme but the music really outshines the actual words and the pace of the song breaks the monotony of the album up, they should have put this in the middle at like Track #4 or #5 to break things up a bit. The bass intro to ‘Run To You’ has a very Steve Harris feel to it and the song follows along at a meaty mid-paced chug. The lyrics and chorus are a little weak but I like the song more than some of the others. Maybe the slower track before it helps?
I wanted it, I bought it and I’ve listened to it…..the Bitchfire debut isn’t bad at all. The band has this retro early ’80s Metal sound that is centered around the guitar and vocals and they are all solid players. Sharyn Peach is going to be the focus both vocally and visually and it works, she has talent and is good looking. The question remains: What is going to set Bitchfire apart from all the other femake-fronted Metal bands? It has to be the songs, if you have good songs then you will standout from the pack. I would say half this album is solid Hard Rock/Metal and the other half is filler. There are some great ideas here but half the album keeps following the same pattern and the same songwriting…..there’s just so much love scorned/vengeful woman themes I can take in one CD. There’s a lot of potential here if the band tightens up the songwriting and finds just a couple different topics to focus on.
‘Headlines’, ‘Fly High’, ‘Pleasure Is Pain’, ‘Selfish Heart’