First 10 seconds of their songs and I’m instantly transported back in time to the 70s classic rock era…

What a rush!

The good people of “Firebug” take us through a time hopping musical adventure…

In an ultra modern music market…they are old school and proud.

Let me first introduce the good people from “Firebug”:

Juliette Tworsey – Lead Vocal/ Electric Guitar/Piano/Organ

Jules Shapiro – Lead Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/Organ/Moog Synthesizer

Joseph Noval – Bass Charles Wiley – Drums

They hail from the USA, they started out in Chicago, which has a very well established music scene, since…always.

I could not believe it at first that this is the output of 3 musicians!

That led me to believe that there must be a hell lot of chemistry and harmony between them as humans before even being musicians…we see a lot of bands with probably more musicians and end up with too little, this is a testament to their dedication.

“Firebug” is all about classic rock with a hint of blues and prog too…a killer combo.

They just came out with their latest album “No Return”, which was recorded at Clocktower Recorders in Joshua Tree California with engineer Charlie Stavish (Imagine

Dragons/Jenny Lewis / Starcrawler).

The album was mastered at Sterling Sound Nashville by Randy Merrill.

Without further ado…let’s get into the meat of things and give their album “No Return” a good listen…

We start our journey with the first song, the album’s title track “No Return”…

interesting choice having their title track as the first one, a confident choice.

The track starts out with a very strong 70s-ballad-rock-mellow guitar and vocals intro.

It takes you in bit by bit till it reaches a musical climax with classic rock drum beats and catchy vocal lines…and yes, of course big guitar chords…the song has an uplifting energy to it without necessarily being too fast or too mellow, but the lyrics take you to a good place.

Think of it like this…Queen and Led Zeppelin with a hint of Rolling Stones and…I think I made my point…this is more than enough, go check them out now.

The song has a bridge that is very catchy…I believe in the live performance this is a highlight with a huge potential of audience participation, I can see it clearly.

From there we go into the second track “Trail That Never Ends”…

This is quite the experience.

So the track starts out with some finger picking acoustic guitars…laying the foundation for what’s to come, which is kind of a meditative trance song.

The vocals are very smooth and meditative…I can’t think of another word for it…and it reaches a point where it goes into a mantra kind of emotion.

So the vocals are going through these kinds of mantra-ethnic melodies while the sitars are playing some melodies and…well, actually no, those are guitars, but playing with a sitar technique…absolutely lovely, refreshing and unique.

I believe there are also some sitar-like elements playing in the background. I swear I heard something very reminiscent of a sitar somewhere…

Once again, there is a bridge that goes all the way into ethnic-mantra-meditative territory…

But that won’t last till the end of the track…

More than half way into the song we kind of jump out of this meditative state, leaving the ashram and taking the rock and roll train downtown…

We are greeted with a huge classic rock riff that takes us into the stratosphere and beyond.

Very energetic, very rock and roll.

…and somewhere above the clouds, we reach the third track of the album, it’s called “Moment of Joy”…and we’re somewhere completely different, we have reached blues town…and it is a beautiful place.

This song is very bluesy with piano and guitar licks all over the place…till the organ takes the spotlight and says “yes, this is blues rock”…and once again, the vocal melodies are extremely catchy.

“Change” is the title of the fourth track and it introduces a literal change in the pace of the album.

It sits somewhere between rock’n’roll and blues…and that’s a good place.

With classic ballad-like features, this song feels like the good ol times.

I wanted to highlight something also very specific about vocals across the album, they have this 60s and 70s-short decay-slap kind of reverb…which I absolutely love….it feels very authentic.

“Change” is a powerful ballad halfway into their album and serves many purposes, all of which pays off to the overall energy of the album.

The track reaches a climax that is highlighted even more with a brief guitar solo.

“Only The Lucky”, the fifth and next track, has a more melancholic feel to it…and I gotta admit, I am a big fan of melodic melancholy…and this one delivers on that.

Chord progression is simple and effective…

This guitar solo is exactly what we need now…

Vocals and harmonies are on point with excellent melodies…

The track is just that, vocals and guitars…and this is exactly what “less is more” means.

The sixth track “Down” takes us back into blues town…and the drums are driving us through it.

Stereo guitars playing different lines gives us this kind of wide sounding thing going on. 

It also has a very interesting bridge which shifts the energy in a refreshing way then takes us back to the verse elegantly…going through the verse, chorus and then into an organ solo, with the vocals and organ trading some lines till the end of the song through a fade out…

This takes us to our last stop into this 60s/70s classic rock journey and to our last track “St.Elmo’s Fire”.

This song has very strong vibes of a folk-anthem kind of song, uplifting and patriotic.

An interesting choice for the last song in the album, it feels like we-as the audience-are winding down, seeing the end of the road…a road that we enjoyed, but sadly has to come to an end.

“St.Elmo’s Fire” has some soaring vocals with awesome vibrato control…had to say that.

Exhilarating….is the word I was looking for to describe this trip back in time, especially the 70s classic rock era.

We wish the people from “Firebug” all the best in the world, they are doing some awesome work out there, we will be looking out for more classic rock’n’roll from you!


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Born in the 80s, attracted by the beats and feeds on music, the "Hamza Sharkas" is a musical-carnivore that uses guitars, piano and drums as his weapons of choice in hunting down and composing music, mainly for short movies, solo work and his other musical projects. The "Sharkas" also records, mixes and masters music. One of the goals of the "Sharkas" is to spread musical knowledge and music technology education as much as possible through workshops and online articles. Beware the "Sharkas"....for he won't shut up about music and will go on and on and on and on….


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