Her Name Was Fire are still a relatively new venture. The Lisbon duo have one EP to their name and “Road Antics” is the debut full length release with promises of stoner rock goodness with grunge and blues elements thrown in. Admittedly, this is definitely the lighter end of the Ave Noctum spectrum but the lure of a fuzzy riff is still pretty strong so the temptation to hit the play button is there.
Faster than a lightning strike, the Josh Homme worship becomes very apparent. “Little Pain” has an element of glam rock about it and the Kyuss stoner density isn’t nearly as apparent as a Queens Of The Stone Age meets Eagles Of Death Metal pomp. They manage to lean on the funk of Them Crooked Vultures on “Take My Soul” and “Bring The Ransom” with a slinky bottom end that really is quite hip shaky. There’s a well used commercial radio friendliness that’s creeping in quite early which is disappointing only from the point of view that all this has been done before and there’s almost a cover band feel to the album such is the depth of the band’s influences on show. They fuzz it up on “Nightcrawler” but this time the chosen reference sounds like Truckfighters without the edge. This is the quandary: they sound alright and there’s soulful vocals with solid guitars and production but it’s all a bit anaemic. Frankly, if I wanted to hear QOTSA or Eagles of Death Metal, I’d put on one those bands album’s, not listen to a rehash. Hopes for some of the bands own DNA to show through fade quite quickly. “To The Sunset” is a slower, bluesier track that feels a bit more gutsy with a Jack White aura while closer “So Long Starman” manages a basic grungier, early Silverchair tone. Sadly there is little motivation to press play again.
João Campos and Tiago Lopes have enough in their musicianship arsenal to build on this but there needs to be a fingerprint they can call their own. “Road Antics” suffers from a little too much imitation rather than inspiration and while there is nothing wrong with the chosen source they risk being forgotten.
(5/10 Johnny Zed)