Man - I didn't know much about Bonfire before today but I gotta say, I've pretty quickly fallen in love with their high powered exciting glam rock sound. This is one of those bands who ran parallel to groups like Scorpions but for some reason never were able to truly break into the mainstream. That being said, this double album collection of their work, with one disc featuring re-recordings of classics and another with orchestral padding to some of their hits is a great primer on what the band is all about. Sure there are a few moments to make you wince, but it's a glam metal record - what more can you really want?
Objectively speaking I feel like the first disc here is superior to the second, if only because the 'orchestral versions' of the tracks felt a bit underwhelming. While the padding is certainly appreciated it wasn't quite the re-imaginings that I was hoping for. That being said - the bands sound reeks of Def Leppard and White Snake, and regular readers will know, that's pretty much the key to my heart. The guitar solos are flashy and fun, the riffs crunchy and the vocals bombastic - what more could a long hair want? One thing I don't fully understand though is the bands desire to be American. Asides from the Sweet Home Alabama cover (Which is actually pretty rad) there's a song called Proud Of My Country that seems to be a paean to Middle American attitudes of the 80s (Or at least I hope it is...)
Pearls provides a ton of material to go through, and people who love glam metal are going to have a field day picking apart all that Bonfire have put up to offer here. So while you probably don't want to plow through this in one sitting as I have picking and choosing as you go through promises to be a helluva good time. Bonfire know what traditional heavy metal is about and it's hard to blast them and not have a good time. Groovy, fresh and full of that good old rock and roll energy, Pearls makes me feel young again.
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