Fire Marshal Bill : Cook With Salt Spit With Mouth
review by: Becky Huskins
I managed to sneak out of the house back in January and caught Fire Marshal Bill at Freeman’s Pub in Gastonia. My ears perked up over my Vodka Red Bull as I heard funk… and then what sounded like new wave… and was that a little jazz? I’m not quite sure how these four guys make this fusion of sound work, but they do.
Their 5 song demo, Cook With Salt Spit With Mouth, is available on BandCamp and another recording is in the works for this summer. I happen to like “Jumbalaya (Drop Kick)” because it seems to embody that punk/funk/new wave vibe that I can’t quite explain, while “Fishin’ for a Felony” is just a great song title, even if it didn’t rock. Their songs, just like their look and their stage presence, tell me that these guys have a sense of humor and who can’t use more of that right now?
Whenever I hear a truly original sound I like to know who the band’s major influences are. Without missing a beat, guitarist Joey Prater told me “I probably wouldn’t be playing if not for Nirvana.” Prater, along with Adam Petaccia on vocals, Zak Ferrell on bass and Brett Butler on drums definitely get attention when they show up on stage in button-downs and skinny ties. But their music will beg you to listen and not just look. Their sound is tight, unique and definitely fills in some spaces in the current Charlotte scene.
Together since 2010, they are named after the Jim Carrey character on “In Living Color” and, besides Nirvana, they cite Faith No More, Clutch, Infectious Grooves, System of a Down and ACDC as their major influences. They are also big fans of local bands Sticky Bandits, Old Scratch, Gonzo, Dr. Circustein, No Anger Control and The Dirty South Revolutionaries.
“Highly Productive (Dog Sauce)” is another great title and probably my favorite cut on the demo. It starts slow and seems almost vocally seductive before it rocks you wide open with some fierce guitar and kicking drums. Don’t let these handsome boys in ties fool you, they came to get down.
• Fire Marshal Bill will be playing the American Babylon Festival in Rocky Mount on May 15th.
• Check them out at www.Facebook.com/fmbyasee, www.FireMarshalBill.bandcamp.com and at a venue near you soon.
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