Glossary - Feral Fire
by Donny Kutzbach
“The ghosts are out/And they’re dancing among the living” goes a line from “Lonely Is a Town,” and that old rock-and-roll ghost is definitely dancing with the guys and gal from the Murfreesboro, Tennessee quintet. Full disclosure: I’ve been an adherent of this band since I first stumbled onto them seven or eight years back, and have been listening repeatedly to their rocking beauty of a record, 2003’s How We Handle Our Midnights. Glossary belongs to that small fraternity of bands about which I will tell anyone who listens that they are certainly one of my favorite—if not one of the best—bands on earth.
If anyone has doubted me to this point, a simple listen or 10 to Feral Fire ought to change that. While it is the band’s most textured and ambitious record to date, it is also their most realized and satisfying. There is something so heavenly about Joey and Kelly Kneiser harmonizing about hopeful dreams under the yoke of Southern small-town blues, religion, dead ends, and heartbreak. There’s nothing better or more affirming. And the album rocks, too. It’s there in the searing, unrelenting guitar of Todd Beene, and at that certain place where Glossary manages to find unbridled release that only the best rock-and-roll bands achieve. The blazing, Thin Lizzy-worthy opener, “Lonely Is a Town,” kicks Feral Fire to a quick start, and ably spills over to “Save Your Money for the Weekend” and “Trembling Boy.” Lead guitarist and pedal steel man Beene gets his first shot at lead vocal duty on “No Guarantee” and delivers perhaps the record’s best line: “When you coming home?/You got all Tennessee on me.” I’m not sure exactly what getting “all Tennessee” entails, but surely it can be a good thing, too, and it’s something that Glossary does well. With buoyant, hooky, life-affirming rock and roll, Feral Fire has the band getting all Tennessee in spades.
—donny kutzbachblog comments powered by Disqus
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