Fire Merchants - s/t. 1989 USA

Now this is the kind of album that had quite a bit of buzz back in the day, and yet when I did research for the album, it seems to be almost an unknown. Heck, we used to play it on our radio show in the early 90s! I'm sure one day, the late 1980s and early 90s instrumental heavy fusion fad will regain its audience, but as of 2014 it's nothing but crickets out there. Since there are so few reviews, I thought I'd get something about it for potential fans.

Fire Merchants were all the rage in 1989, when long time Brand X guitarist John Goodsall teamed up with legendary drummer Chester Thompson and bassist Doug Lunn (Lunn is one of those guys who may not ring a bell, but he's on a ton of marquee name albums). The music is hard hitting guitar fronted instrumental fusion, sure to please subscribers to Guitar Player magazine, and other fans of technical 6 string playing. Brand X hadn't sounded this heavy and kinetic since the late 70s! (this was before their 90s reformation)  As was typical of the late 80s era, the compositions were short on high quality melodic composition and thematic development. Whatever was lacking in those areas were made up with technical prowess, high energy, and copious experience in the studio. After many years of mindless and slick gloss within the jazz fusion field, the return of the rough-hewn sound as provided by the likes of the Fire Merchants were much welcome back then. I predict an audience will reemerge for the style, but as of this writing, that has yet to happen.

Personal collection
CD: 1989 Medusa

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