Now, Hellbound is a metal site, and I’m a metal guy. But we’ve talked about plenty of non-metal on this site and I’m not made of studded leather. Plus, I like to sample the local cuisine every now and again. So to speak. Case in point, the debut from Marmora, ON rockers BigMotorGasoline, Fuel to Burn. No one’s going to mistake it for Metal and Marmora isn’t really that close (an hour?) but I haven’t tossed it out the window and some of the guys at work REALLY like it. Who woulda known?
So if we want to put it in simple terms, BMG is a relatively straightforward rock band from a small town playing to their strengths and environment. As much as I couldn’t relate to a band that sings about the trials of big city life, neither can these dudes (John Freitas-vocals/guitars, Roger Dafoe-lead guitars, Brandon Tapper-bass/vocals, Dave Haywood-drums,security). So they don’t try. They kick back with a few drinks, plug in and rip out 10 tunes about what they know best: motors, life, and drinking. Sounds a bit like a Country band, doesn’t it? While they’re not, I can’t say some Country doesn’t influence a few songs.
The most obvious would be “BYOT” (Bring Your Own Truck). There’s still enough crunch to the guitars (and a “rap” section) that the country stations might shy away. Maybe. Tune’s got some groove though and honestly, it’s the one that gets stuck in my head most. Might have something to do with the chorus of “Ice cold beer/Is what we drink around here/Watching the mud fly/I will have no fear/One for the girls/and two to get stuck/Three BYOT/Bring your own truck”. It’s pretty damn catchy. But I don’t have a truck, let alone one I’d take out for a rip.
Elsewhere you get lots of bluesy swagger and solid rock riffs primed to soundtrack Saturday nights. Tracks like the Mellancamp-y “Lately” features those knee-buckling riffs. It’s not going to floor you but you get that “ungh” dip of the hips. “Dirty Politician” is highlighted by the bass really coming to the fore with a croaking, bullfrog tone especially during the bridge and behind the solo.
Listening to the other consistent tracks on the album you can pick out the influence of bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and Dire Straits to go along with that general blues rock/bar band vibe. “Rain” is one of the stronger ones with a soul that will get the people up and moving. “Vodka”, in addition to the heaviest drinking lyrics and sweet guitar work, there’s a real Big Sugar groove going on and you can’t argue with that. Toss in the mostly acoustic ballad “Peace of Mind” and you’ve got a pretty well rounded album.
Finishing with closer “I Don’t Care”, BMG flex their muscles and rumble off like a V8 roaring down the highway leaving the smell of burnt rubber and gasoline lingering in the air.
Fuel to Burn does a solid job of doing what it set out to do and that’s have a good time. They touch on real world stuff and play what they want to hear while paying homage to their influences without sounding like copycats. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that some “local” stations could pick up a song or two to play (as Trenton’s Rock107 has). Hey, it’s better than the modern rock they play on the radio nowadays!