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Firehouse Prime Time Pony Canyon /
Firehouse Music
Produced By: Bill Leverty

Running Time: 44.36

Release Date: September 20

Released: JP

Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

Links: Firehouse
90%
Songs: 89%
Sound: 90%
Firehouse promised to deliver a good melodic rock record, but they have gone one better this is a great melodic rock record. And it certainly does rock!
Prime Time is the follow up to O2 an album that had promise, but was too varied in delivery and quality to be rated a great album.
The problems of O2 seem to have been corrected here, as Prime Time features a much stronger production and stronger songs - which are closer to the bands first two albums.
There's a certain urgency to the music and a return to the hard-edged guitar style that sees the band rocking like they used to and like the fans hoped they would.
Interestingly, lead vocalist CJ Snare is relieved of his duties on 3 tracks. Drummer Michael Foster takes lead on Door To Door and guitarist Bill Leverty takes lead on two tracks Holding On and I'm The One.
All three songs match the vibe of the rest of the tracks and don't alter the course of the album, but it was curious to hear other voices up front when such a fine rock singer in CJ was available.
Regardless, the 10 songs of Prime Time rock along beautifully and it's only with the closing track do the band take a breath.
Track By Track:
The title track Prime Time is a mid-tempo melodic rocker with a bluesy Aerosmith swagger, catchy hook and solid guitar riff that will please fans and gets the album off to a solid start.
The tougher, harder edged Crash rocks up next and really sets the album on it's way. I love the riff and think fans will rate the track as an album highlight. The track has a real AC/DC classic rock feel and the rougher edge to CJ's vocal is most enjoyable.
Door To Door is drummer Michael Foster's vocal debut. I guess it's somewhat strange to risk breaking the flow of the album so early in the piece, but the track doesn't sound out of place and Foster's vocals rougher and gruffer to CJ's don't sound too far out of place. The track is another tough uptempo rocker with a real stomping rhythm and short, but catchy chorus.
Perfect Lie is more of the classic Firehouse hard rock style fans of the debut will be most familiar with. CJ's higher pitched vocals are a perfect balance to the song's dark vibe and hard edge. A great mid to up-tempo rocker that is another album highlight.
Holding On sees Bill Leverty at the mike. Bill's vocals are the roughest of the three voices featured on Prime Time, but they still have their place. The song itself is a moody hard blues rock track with another catchy chorus.
Body Language is the typically commercial Firehouse. The song is guitar driven, but not overly heavy and featuring a short, but classy guitar solo and another good chorus.
I'm The One sees Bill back for another shot on lead. Normally I don't like rotating vocalists, as it can break the flow of an otherwise good album. But credit to the guys for making this work and ensuring the album flows well. This track is another mid-tempo bluesy rocker. This is almost a tribute to ZZ Top and is ok, but not an album highlight.
Take Me Away is a return to the classic commercial pop/rock Firehouse sound, with CJ's sweet vocals riding over a pleasant mid-tempo rock track. The track has the same vibe as Body Language.
Home Tonight rocks just slightly harder, but isn't as catchy as some earlier tracks, despite featuring some cool guitar playing.
Let Go is the only ballad of the album and is well placed closing out the new album. This ballad is everything Firehouse ballads have always been sentimental, acoustic driven and layered with harmonies. A great addition to the Firehouse ballad family.
The Bottom Line
Prime Time is as strong and as consistent an album you could expect from the boys, considering the musical climate of 2003 and how long the guys have been together.
A welcomed return to the rockier sound of the first two albums and a major improvement over the last album.
Long time fans will die for this, others might even be converted due to the quality of the performance and the fact there aren't too many bands putting out records like this in 2003.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Firehouse
Hold Your Fire
3
Good Acoustics
Category 5
O2

Line Up
CJ Snare: Vocals
Bill Leverty: Guitar, Vocals
Michael Foster: Drums, Vocals
Dario Seixas: Bass

Essential for fans of:
Firehouse - Firehouse
Firehouse - Hold Your Fire
Track Listing
Prime Time*
Crash*
Door To Door
Perfect Lie*
Holding On
Body Language*
I'm The One
Take Me Away
Home Tonight
Let Go

--*Best Tracks


31/08/05: DAMON KELLY - dk@rockarma.com
Rating: 0
Prime Time is a great rock'n'roll album, just like every Firehouse album. Bill Leverty produced my debut album in 2005, and it was great working with him. One of the best bands you will ever see play live, without a doubt. -WWW.ROCKARMA.COM-

13/08/05: B Beth - c contactcanadian@yahoo.ca
Rating: 0
I just seen the guys play Shea's in Buffalo they sounded awesome wasn't that packed unlike the docks...Loved it thanks for the signed drumstick...Mr.Comedian....You make me laugh your so Mr.Personality...Love Ya Always Canadian Beth...contactcanadian@yahoo.ca

25/07/05: Jonny B - froloth@Hotmail.com
Rating: 79
None of the local stores carried "Prime Time," so I never got the chance to buy the album until it was sold at last night's 'Rock Never Stops' gig. Here's my take:

Fans will be happy because they've left behind any modern aspects that they showed in '02.' (I'm one of the few who actually enjoyed '02' BTW.) But at the same time, this album sounds like a collection of pretty average tracks. The me of 8 years ago might of rated this one highly (back when I started listening to music.) But my tastes have changed a bit, and I've diversified my tastes to include most genres of rock. 'Prime Time' will be a nice blast to the past, but won't get a lot of spins, because the quality of melodic rock has increased over the years. I say listen to it before you buy. Best Track: "Perfect Lie."

25/02/05: TIM - mroshay87@aol.com
Rating: 88
This would have been thier best cd since Hold Your Fire if they would have just stuck to thier original formula. C.J. is the man, so let him be the man. Not disrespecting the others in this band, but save your vocals for a solo project. When I listen to Firehouse I want C.J., that's why I love these guys. Bill Leverty is a great guitarist and he shows that here.This band has a great unique sound and it should stay that way.

KILLER TRACKS; Prime time, Crash(awesome riff!), Perfect lie

19/08/04: JJ - jockelarzon@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
Firehouse has always released killer albums! Maybe Cat.5 was a little too laid back (i.e. too many soft songs, esp. the 2nd half of the disc), but with that exception all that these guys have released is superb stuff! The first two albums can't be beaten, two of the best ever!!, but this new disc comes very close - a really good effort. And taken into account they have recorded it themselves makes the effort even more impressive. CJ is still one of the ten best singers on the planet! RECOMMENDED to all melodic rock lovers! /JJ

29/06/04: Erin - erinspike@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
I heard Firhouse live 3 days ago playing songs off of their new CD - I was so impressed I had to buy their new CD. I am a huge fan of their old and new music. Besides that, who can honestly say that they have sat down and drank a beer with their favorite band ever! I can! Hell, CJ even warmed my hands up - because they were so cold. Not only do they have great music, they also have awesome personalities!! I love Firehouse and truely believe that everyone should be so fortunate enough to go to at least one of their concerts. Firehouse - YOU ROCK!!

24/06/04: guillermo - Guillerperez@usuariosreretecal.es
Rating: 91
UN buen album que quizas decepciona algo a nivel de estribillos.Muy entretenido pero otro claro ejemplo de album que no alcaNZA EL NIVEL DE FIREHOUSE O HOLD YOUR FIRE

05/04/04: Steve15 - roknroseville@yahoo.com
Rating: 83
Listened to this cd 4x Why would you have other members sing? There aweful! One thing new bassist Dario Seixas came from a Rush cover band He's got an awesome voice! Let him sing!!

31/03/04: Big Mike - bigmike@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
This albums has good and bad. There are 2 really killer tracks
"door to door" and "perfect lie", excellent songs. "crash" and "primetime" are ok and the rest are pretty average. This album is nowhere near the first 2 albums which were their best.

14/02/04: Eric Cremeans - ericcremeans@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
I'll be posting a HUGE review soon since this new record, "Prime Time", and the guys responsible for this recording deserve it........stay tuned!!

02/02/04: Scott - slb75@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 90
For me, this is their best album since the debut. They've gone back to their roots while still sounding fresh. Great vibe and energy all throughout. Great!

18/01/04: jamie bumgarner - undividednow@yahoo.com
Rating: 75
Im a huge firehouse fan, I love them, but this cd is not as good as advertised! The 3 tracks with different vocalists throw the whole cd off for me. Maybe 5 good songs, "Perfect lie" is one of their best ever though!

16/01/04: Scott Zaske - zaspet@aol.com
Rating: 50
I'm not sure what other raters were hoping for, but boy was I disappointed. I can barely remember a song or a title because they were all so generic and forgettable. The experiment of Bill singing was really not what I was hoping for at all. The 50 is for sticking it out and making the album, the .1 is for the results.

24/12/03: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Decent record, but their heydays are over, I'm afraid. Their first records were pretty good, but their latest releases rather flatless and boring. This is a step in the right direction, but not enough to make this a real good record.

12/11/03: Alex - ptiger20@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Let me tell you guys first, I have never been a very big fan of the firehouse music. Yes I have had a few songs here and that that I listened to once in a blue moon.

But when a friend of mine got me to listen to this new CD things changed.

This is a very enjoyable production. Well produced, the band sounds very together and the music is just some of the best they have ever produced. It's by no means short or less than anything else thats out there right now.

Wish there was a way to introduce this music to the public since this CD really deserves a major commercial success!!

Good work guys

10/11/03: Apostolos Kaponis - kaponisapostolos@yahoo.gr
Rating: 85
This album rocks hard. A very good returning from an old band after the mediocricy of O2 album. All the song have a very good rhythm and you can hear it drinking beers or dancing or screaming.

08/11/03: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Just a follow up to my already posted review... a ranking on their discography: 1.HOLD YOUR FIRE(best rockers, best ballad), 2. PRIME TIME(oh so close 2nd), 3. CATEGORY 5(yeah, it's mellow, but it's not wimpy), 4. FIREHOUSE(classic debut), 5. BRING 'EM OUT LIVE(for those of us who haven't seen 'em), 6. O2(Unbelieveable IS their best ever cut), 7. GOOD ACOUSTICS(new tracks are great, but why ruin, er, I mean redo the classics), 8. 3(one great and two good ballads all a part of a wimpy effort).

08/11/03: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Strap yourselves in, Firehouse is back! Primetime brings the band back to the top of the hard rock mountain. First off, every song is "listenable"(no songs that make you wonder WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?). Everybody will have their own favorites, but here's how I break it down... PRIMETIME- A good bluesy rocker that would have been better off later in the album; CRASH- This should have been the lead track, it absolutely explodes and prepares you for just the kind of experience you're in for with this CD; DOOR TO DOOR- O.K., I was wrong. When I first heard that CJ was off lead vocal duty for 3 tracks I wasn't optimistic. But Foster absolutely makes this song his and the pure wall-of-sound music makes this a killer cut; PERFECT LIE- Probably the most commercial rocker on the album that is special for the pacing and great keyboard work blended into more monster guitar work; HOLDING ON- Leverty's rough vocals do have a place, but truthfully, not on this song. It's listenable, but it disrupts the flow of the album; BODY LANGUAGE- Back on track with that classic Firehouse sound; I'M THE ONE- Leverty's vocals seem more in place on this track, but again, the pacing of the song interupts the pedal-to-the-metal feel that most of the tracks have; TAKE ME AWAY- On first listen, my favorite track (eventually, though, it's become Perfect Lie). Once again just great classic Firehouse that smokes; HOME TONIGHT- A disjointed effort that can't seem to decide what type of song it wants to be, but still very listenable given a couple of trys; LET GO- The perfect way to cool the engines after such a high octane album, definitely among the top three ballads recorded by Firehouse.
All in all a GREAT CD! Glad to see they can still crank it up when they want to. Firehouse is a band capable of excelling in numerous musical styles. They need to not forget any of them for such a long period again.

24/10/03: erik - erikhardam@hetnet.nl
Rating: 99
Am a fan of Firehouse ever since the release of their first cd. Hey i am 38 so it is possible. lol
We all know the story about these guys. Sensational first few releases and after that they have never really been able, in my opnion, to capture that sound which made them such a great band. And with every release i was hoping it would be there again. In vain. With O2 we saw a glimpse again of the "good old days". But with Prime Time its spot on. What a great revival the band has given themselves. Absolute stunning cd. Modern approach yet always Firehouse written all over the songs. This has to appeal to all old and young rock fans out there. So an absolute must have for Firehouse fans and a perfect try for the new fans to get to know these guys. What i love also is the depth in the songs. Its the kind of album you can play over and over again. You will even be playing them in 5 years time or so. Like with the first two albums. Timeless.
Schwarzenegger said it already: I'll be back. Well Firehouse is back and i hope to stay on for a long long time.
Excellent job guys !!!

05/10/03: Jere - rock_dawg1@hotmail.com
Rating: 96
Bottom line Firehouse has created a monster, this album is brash/loud/in your face hard rock. The band took the time to sit down and write some killer songs and the album is well produced and recorded.

I have followed the band for the past few years now (young rocker here at age 22) and have supported the band with every album they have put out. After the release of O2 (an album that to me was experimental but didn't really cover new ground yet there were a couple tracks off of it I liked - Don't Fade On Me and Call of the Night) I was losing faith in Firehouse but I wasn't ready to give up hope on them just yet.

With Prime Time the guys went back to basics, play the style of music that made you famous. Bill Leverty's guitars on this album really have drive and at a few times his riffs remind me of earlier material. (Crash reminds me alot of Shake and Tumble off of self-titled) CJ Snare's vocals on this album are amazing his voice hasn't changed a bit as it sounds just as fresh as when Self-Titled and Hold Your Fire were recorded. Bill and Michael Foster show that they are more then backing musicians taking their turn on lead vocals. Normally it would bog an album down if a guitarist or drummer decided to sing leads but it was a risk that paid off as Holding On, I'm The One, and Door To Door fit in nearly perfect and drive the album even more. Last but not least Dario Seixas did an amazing job on bass churning out some great licks.

Track by Track - 1. Prime Time: Funky guitar driven rocker with CJ's vocals driving it all the way. 2. Crash: Is a loud heavy rocker that from start to finish doesn't lose momentum. 3. Door To Door: Good rocker, Mike has good vocal ability. 4. Perfect Lie - 2nd favorite song on the album, has that classic Firehouse sound and CJ's skills on keys were an added suprise! 5. Holding On - Great song! good harmonies, another fav. Bill did an awesome job (on vocals and guitars) with this cut! 6. Body Language: My fav track on the album this is massive. Harmonies are perfect and the lyrics are dead on! 7. I'm The One: Bluesy hard rocker Bill's vocals = simply amazing. 8. Take Me Away - Awesome song love the intro riff on this track. 9. Home Tonight - Least favorite song, it has that 80s glam rock vibe. 10 Let Go - KILLER ballad, one of the band's best, CJ's intro on keys is errie and his vocals on this track are really powerful.

All in all - Amazing album, the band did their homework and made an album that will please all die hard fans and with the sound and vibe from it, it might convert some. Prime Time is classic Firehouse with a 2003 twist! The band is evolving with time and the guys have done an awesome job on album number 8. Keep it up!!

(MY) Firehouse album rankings: (1) Self-Titled (2) Hold Your Fire (3) PRIME TIME (4) Good Acoustics (5) 3 (6) Catergory 5 (7)O2.

05/10/03: Jason Muzzell - jmuzzell@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
okay aside from the opening track and the rapping here and there, this is by far the best album since the self titled debut! great songs, mind you i hear some rip offs in a few tracks? perfect lie (all she wrote) ane the one (don't walk away) - but since the decline of the band after the first album - this shows sign of great things to come. the future looks bright again!

05/10/03: Don Hosler - donhosler@losch.net
Rating: 92
Ever notice that when your favorite band releases a new CD that you're much more critical and you expect much more than when "just any other band" releases their new one ?
Well, Firehouse and Harem Scarem are my two absolute bands - and I consider the 1990 Firehouse debut to be THE BEST melodic hard rock debut CD ever made. PERIOD . I have been with these guys from the beginning, have hung out with them, have had my bands open for them, have done promotion for them, and I will be a fan forever - because in its own way, every CD had something to offer me.
That being said, this CD took awhile for me to really get used to. It was tough getting used to CJ Snare(in my opinion, the best singer to ever hold a microphone...period) singing in a much heavier and sometimes raspier tone than usual...not to mention having three songs sung by other members of the band. On first listen, it almost sounded like they were trying to hop the bandwagon and ride the coattails of newer metal bands like Puddle of Mudd and Nickelback.
but after a few more listens I stood firmly corrected. What they did was added a fierce, uncompromising edge to their music and a more in-your-face delivery that is obviously meant to silence the people who have long dismissed them as a ballad band or "wussy rock." For the record, I thought CATEGORY FIVE and GOOD ACOUSTICS were a little to light for what the band should have been doing, but CATEGORY boasted a maturity and diversity the band hadn't previously possessed and the vocal work was nothing short of breathtaking.
The boys have really roughed it up on this one and you know what...in some weird left-of-center kinda way, it works ! The band whose biggest hit was LOVE OF A LIFETIME have actually made a fist-pounding, aggressive-to-the-max album that doesn't let up until the closing ballad LET GO which is about the only typical FIREHOUSE song here...BUT ....wait.... ! They have also recorded what has to be THEIR FINEST SONG TO DATE, the masterful PERFECT LIE, boasting the most mature and well-written lyrics I have ever heard along with a breathtaking contrast between Snare's soaring majestic vocals (in fine form here, folks!) and Bill Leverty's crunchy, dark riffing. Some nicely textured keyboard work rounds out this absolute monster. The songs sung by other members (Leverty on two, drummer Michael Foster on one) work surprisely well, and I was especially impressed by Foster's performance on the "racing song" DOOR TO DOOR, which rocks like a truckload of bricks.
I only have one criticism. I think it's great that the boys have added this new dimension to their sound, but I also believe that you should add to your sound and NEVER take away or subtract identifiable elements and signature trademarks that define who you are. For me, and for alot of people, that trademark was (on the first two CDs anyway) the sweeping, multi-layered vocal blending of all four members which created some of the best four part harmonies (and memorable choruses) I have ever heard - and here's the kicker...THEY CAN PULL IT ALL OFF LIVE ! No studio magic, imagine that. The hooks were absolutely huge, as anyone who's heard the debut and HOLD YOUR FIRE can attest. You would think that a band with that strong of a trademark and calling card would always retain that element in future releases and add to what they already have created (since we all understand you can't keep making the same album over and over) and never lose it.
Well , sadly, on this one and the previous release, O2, the band have basically abandoned the hugely layered vocals in favor of a more stripped-back and basic two part, sometimes three part, vocal approach. They sound good, and I highly reccomend this record, don't get me wrong, but it seems like today's standards almost lay down a rulebook saying "you can't layer vocals like that in this decade" or "you can't play killer guitar solos anymore" and the boys may be playing at least somewhat by that book. I say somewhat because Leverty's guitar work absolutely smokes and drives these songs like a revved up horsepower engine off the assembly line. Every song has a killer lead and the production is first rate even without the benefit of a huge budget or major record label/major studio.
I think fans will love this, they make make a few younger fans in the process...but I also think alot of people really want to see them combine this newly acquired edge with the trademark backing vocals of old and give us the best of both worlds.
Til then, we wait patiently, and great job guys...and thanks for never letting us down and sticking with it.

28/09/03: mike - fortinmartin@videotron.ca
Rating: 70
Fist...this album was a shock for a big fan of firehouse like me!! prime time has nothing like the old album of the bang exept for the song perfect lie and the ballad let go . for me is not the best album of the band I prefer the commercial style of the fist album and category 5 i hope the guys dosent stick to thant style...but i will stay forever i big fan of firehouse FLAME ON !!!!

27/09/03: Ron Harris - captnron99@excite.com
Rating: 97
I have been a Firehouse fan for almost 9 years now. I came in late, discovering this band when "3" was released in the mid '90's. Since then the band has been through a lot of change, as we all have. Many thought the band had lost their direction as the music climate changed. Despite what others may think this band has incredible versatility and tremendous range both in style and feel. That is, in my mind what sets these guys apart from so many other bands from the 80's. They are not afraid to showcase those qualties and "Prime Time" is no exception. In this release the guys return to their hard rock feel and do they rock hard. The album really never stops and perhaps has one of the best songs I have heard in a long time in "Perfect Lie." This song and so many others contain amazing guitar playing tight driving melodies and the vocal harmonies they have been known for have made an amazing return. If you had any doubt as to what these guys can do this album will certainly clear your mind. It is fun, well written, diverse, and just a great album. An absolute must for all long time Firehouse fans, and a great place to start for those who are new to their music. Great job guys...


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