GREEK FIRE – If This Is The End (2012)
“GREEK FIRE is a mission to capture the attention of a rock deprived generation. A mission to re-vitalize the spirit of rock music in all of it’s purity and greatness. A mission to create uplifting, soaring music for those who need it now more than ever.”
The band from St. Louis describe themselves this way. In May 2009, Phil Sneed (aka Moon), Ryan Phillips, Johnny Venus and Mark Joseph Roth start performing as Greek Fire.
Antitype without being pretentious, Greek Fire has developed a style that blends many influences, a genre-crossing music really original and vital.
Over a blasting rhythm section, they have an insane lead guitarist with gnarly riffage ability, and a frontman that is charismatic, poetic, and has a voice that can cut through a brick wall and knock you into another time zone.
On their debut album some songs are truly energetic, while others have a slow, calming, melodic feel. We have rockin’ riffs over catchy radio worthy songs but still maintaining honesty and artistry, ignoring musical barricades or preconceptions.
It isn’t easy classify Greek Fire’s style, but precisely therein lies its charm.
They can rock hard as on the thumping opener “Doesn’t Matter Anyway” delivering a wall of sound, and turn melodic and rhythmic on “Make Me Believe”.
In some places this band could remind you the fire and freshness of U2’s debut ‘Boy’. I mean, when U2 used to be an edgy band and the intention was to rock the world.
Then, in a song like “Put Your Hands on Me” they go for a really heavy path with a monster reverberation in the sound akin late seventies bands but magically sounding modern and original.
But they surprise you all the time, as next track “Dreaming In Deja Vu” is an insanely catchy tune with some winks to European Melodic Rock featuring a fantastic guitar solo.
At this point maybe you’re wondering if this album wouldn’t be an indigestible mixed salad… not at all, it’s original, attractive and leaves you wanting more.
Greek Fire is one of the most interesting and original bands I heard recently, no matter the genre. In fact, they break genre-boundaries.
There’s just something captivating about frontman Moon’s voice that I can’t seem to put a label on. It’s catchy, but not in an annoying pop-rock way. It’s heartfelt, but not in an overly sappy way. It’s just… natural.
And that natural, insanely enthralling voice meshes perfectly with the musical skills of Ryan Phillips on the guitars and the solid rhythm section by Mark Joseph Roth and Johnny Venus (drums). So many bands can get lost in the shuffle because they sound so similar, but Greek Fire is not one of those bands. They are immediately identifiable, which makes them even more memorable.
Greek Fire released the album independently as they wanted the entire control of their art. There was a limited run of physical CD’s last year on the band’s merch table at their concerts, but no more.
Now, after touring Japan, Greek Fire received the shocking news that drummer Johnny Venus was diagnosed with leukemia, and decided to record a new song dedicated to him; “If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)”.
Support this band, they are truly good. If correctly managed, they can do great things.
01 – Doesn’t Matter Anyway
02 – Break Me Down
03 – Make Me Believe
04 – Put Your Hands On Me
05 – Dreaming In Deja Vu
06 – Under The Stars
07 – Down In Mexico
08 – Just The Beginning
09 – If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)
Vocals: Phil ‘Moon’ Sneed
Guitar: Ryan Phillips
Bass: Mark Joseph Roth
Drums: Johnny Venus
Drums: John Pessoni
BUY IT !