Fireball Ministry - Fireball Ministry

Fireball Ministry have always been a band not afraid to try more commercial, accessible ways of songwriting. After all as far back as 2003’s "The Second Great Awakening", there was hints at a more mainstream approach to their music but now with their new self-titled album, they seem to have dropped 99% of their more Stoner Rock roots for a album that is mostly pop-rock. I personally think this a gigantic step in the wrong direction and really can't understand their motives at all. Old songs like "Maidens of Venus" and "King" is what made me a fan many years ago but there is nothing like those tunes on this new album.

On this album they worked with with producer Andrew Alekel who has worked with Fu Manchu and The Company Band and here has created a album that is super slick, especially in the vocal area of singer James A. Rota. Songs like "Thought it Out" kick off with the potential of being a good kick ass dose of Fuzz Rock but end up being nothing more than a pop-punk hybrid. "Fallen Believers" kind of rocks along but no sense of dynamics at all and "Sleeping with Angels" is verging on being a power ballad and a really bad one at that. On the plus side there is "Followed by a Fall" and "Butcher, Faker, Policy Maker" which at least offer up something catchy even though its still very much in the pop-rock mold. The rest of the album is just downright forgettable and rather than me tearing the album apart song by song, i will just forget i even heard the album in the first place. These reviews are never easy, hearing a band you used to love give in to such outright commerciality is disappointing. I am sure some of these songs will have more kick to them in a live situation but this album sounds bland, lifeless and too polished for its own good. I don't know if i should say rest in peace Fireball Ministry just yet but if fame and fortune is the motivation behind this recording, this isn't the way to do it.

1. Hard Lines
2. Fallen Belivers
3. Thought It Out
4. Followed By A Fall
5. Kick Back
6. Butcher, Faker, Policy Maker
7. End Of Story
8. Common Enemy
9. Sleeping With Angels
10. In Their Own Right

Red Distribution
Reviewer: Ed
May 5, 2010

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