Buddha Belt

Firebug play a soft, yet ocassionally distorted, Mazzy Star type take on rock & roll. Their lead singer sounds like Annie Lennox, which is a very good thing! The guitars are really cool, when they’re not distorted (the distortion messes this band up). Fragile has the promise to be a really good record, but something in their mix just doesn’t work.

As mentioned before, the lead singer’s likeness to Annie Lennox is undeniable. So if you can imagine Annie Lennox singing over distorted guitars, in a washed-out, stoner manner, then you can probably understand where I’m coming from; it just doesn’t work. On the title track, the band sounds like Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins, and things go smoothly — that is, until the guitars get loud. I’m not saying that it sounds terrible when they start to rock, because it doesn’t. What I am saying, though, is that I kind of cringe when these guys step on the distortion pedals while the poor lead singer tries to keep up with the dynamics of the change from clean to distorted.

If you’re into Mazzy Star, Lush, later period Come, or Eurythmics, you’ll probably end up enjoying this. I’d have a hard time recommending this to someone I didn’t know, though. Something about this record just doesn’t sit right… it’s like eating Long John Silver’s: not bad while eating, but the stomach ache afterwards ruins the entire experience.


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