Fire Bug – End of the World EP

Fire Bug
End of the World EP

I was absolutely skeptical of this Fire Bug EP called End of the World when it arrived. As a fan of strong female musicians I can’t help but be wary of each new one that comes my way. All too often the next ‘great’ chanteuse or ass kicking rocker chick turns out to be a vapid girl with a guitar hoping her bad poetry set to music will appeal to coffee shop folkies the world over. Yeah, I’m jaded like that – and all the kudos in the world from publicity folks, labels, other music rags, fans, and friends don’t keep me from sighing heavily each time I pop a new female musician’s CD in the computer.

So color me surprised when the End of the World EP hits me with four slow burning rock tracks that not only feature a great front woman with stout, unique vocals, but also offer up a refreshingly inimitable style. Fire Bug is an LA-via-Chicago foursome featuring Juliette Tworsey (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jules Shapiro (lead guitar, slide guitar, organ), Adam Levy (bass), and Ty Dennis (drums). Before I get too gushy about Tworsey’s wonderful voice, let’s give some praise to the boys in the band! These three are superb musicians that whip together a blend of blues, psychedelia, and hard rock that hasn’t been seen this side of the 70s in ages. After listening to this EP over and over I can’t image Fire Bug without Shapiro, Levy, and Dennis as they are the sturdy backbone of the group that brings each song to life.

The End of the World EP is just four tracks and this is definitely a case that will leave you whining that the disc is too damn short. That was my initial reaction and hence the repeat button keeps getting hit. The EP begins with the title track, a four and a half minute song that slowly builds from laid back to hard rock in perfect cadence along with Juliette’s distinct vocals. The second track, “Paradise,” is heavenly (no pun intended) and showcases not only Tworsey’s voice, but her lyrical prowess as well. This track is a heavy hitting rocker that has a great slow groove 70s rock feel. “Forever Won’t Wait” incorporates Shapiro’s lovely slide guitar work with hazy, sun-drenched psychedelics. The last track is a radio edit of the title track.

Fire Bug is an easy target for greatness in 2007 – if this release is any indication – and I can see this band being able to walk the fine line between indie darlings and radio-ready rockers. Either way, the End of the World EP will whet your appetite for some stunningly modernized 70s style rock and leave you panting for more, more, more!