In an age where genres of music can be cheaply copied, hijacked and manipulated (yes I’m looking at you Will.I.Am) it is an enormous relief to find a band who, not only know their genre, but loyally stick to it and produce a fine album that knows exactly what it wants to do, and goes off and does it.
‘Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’, from Birmingham, Alabama, are technical masters of their art. Their art: out and out barnstorming Southern rock 'n' roll. Sharing qualities and characteristics of every critic’s favourite new band, Alabama Shakes, whom they have also toured with, The Glory Fires are more powerful, more faithful to the southern sound of the USA and carry an unrivalled authenticity. Their debut album, There is a Bomb in Gilead is an example of this. And it’s good too. It’s not as if you have to be devout worshipper of Americana roots music or already have a strong grasp of deep American rock music to appreciate and enjoy this little snapshot of America.
It’s a great feat to produce an album that is accessible as well as musically credible, and this is exactly what The Glory Fires have done. It would not feel out of place in a dusty hot summer in Birmingham, Alabama, nor would it be alien in a kitchen in the drizzly miserable summer in Birmingham, UK. With Bains’s distinctive smooth, soulful voice they may face a challenge to avoid becoming clichéd, thus preventing them from reaching a worldwide audience, through dismissal of the genre as a whole; however, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires have made their first, distinctive step into what could be a very long and successful career.
Written by Sam Dix