Raging Fire Announce New Album These Teeth Are Sharp

03-28-2017
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Raging Fire

(Conqueroo) Nashville-based '80s alternative rockers Raging Fire have announced that they will be releasing their new album, These Teeth Are Sharp, on May 12, 2017. We were sent the following details:

The album follows the 2015 release of the critically acclaimed career anthology, Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, which told the story of one of Music City's most innovative and beloved rock bands.

On Saturday, April 22, Raging Fire will play These Teeth Are Sharp in its entirety outdoors at Nashville's Grimey's New & Preloved Music as a part of Record Store Day 2017.

Raging Fire was formed in 1983, when Nashville underground rock scene veterans Michael Godsey, Mark Medley and Les Shields teamed with vocalist Melora Zaner. Under the name Ring of Fire, the quartet combined the punk/roots rock esthetic of bands like X and the Gun Club with fiercely literate lyrics, invoking Patti Smith filtered through a Southern gothic esthetic. In 1985, they changed their name to Raging Fire and released their first EP, A Family Thing. Over the next four years, the band refined their pop-punk-classic rock sound, garnered critical acclaim for their EP and the 1986 LP Faith Love Was Made Of, and toured extensively throughout the South and Midwest.

In 1987, College Music Journal (CMJ) named Raging Fire one of the top unsigned bands in the U.S. (alongside soon to be superstars the Pixies). Although Raging Fire seemed to be teetering on the edge of stardom, many major labels lacked the insight to understand the band's unique fusion of a dynamic rock sound with feminist and deeply interpersonal lyrics. It was a classic case of a musical vision ahead of its time, as proven by the '90s alternative rock explosion. By the end of 1989, the members had moved on to other projects, leaving behind a legacy of powerful, innovative music and the legend of a band that never received its due.

In 2012, Godsey and Medley began discussing plans for the compilation Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, just months before Godsey's tragic death from a heart attack.

Three years later, Raging Fire honored Godsey's memory and celebrated the release of the 22-song compilation with a live performance at Nashville's Exit/In. For that show, Zaner and Medley reunited with three former Raging Fire bass players, Les Shields, John Reed and Rusty Watkins.

To fill out the band's sound, they also recruited friends and contemporaries from the '80s Nashville rock scene - guitarist and vocalist Joe Blanton (Royal Court of China, The Bluefields), guitarist Jeff Cease (The Black Crowes, Eric Church Band) and keyboardist and electronic music composer Giles Reaves.

"At first, getting on stage and doing a reunion was something that I wasn't sure I could do," Zaner says. "It was incredibly emotional for all of us. But when we walked off the stage, Mark and I both said, 'We're not done.' We were always about the art of the song and the stories underneath. There were more stories to tell and some stories to fix."

With the new line-up from the Exit/In show, the group began cutting tracks in Nashville's County Q studios with producer/engineer Mike Purcell. Several songs were drawn from the band's past, lost gems that had never been fully developed or recorded properly. That was the case with the album's title track, "These Teeth Are Sharp."

"That was one of the first songs we wrote when we were still Ring of Fire," Zaner says. "Mark found a very early recording of it and when I heard it, I said, 'Oh my God, we gotta do this!' I think recording it with Joe, Jeff and Giles brought a whole new life and meaning to it. It captured the spirit of everything we've been through."

"Coming together to record this album was a way of finishing something for Michael," Zaner says. "But it was also a way to honor the people who were there with us at a very exciting time in music. It was a time of great creativity with bands pushing each other to be better musicians, songwriters, storytellers and performers. There's been a lot of living since those days, but there's still a lot of living left to do - these teeth are still sharp."

Conqueroo submitted this story.
It may be edited- Excerpted here with permission.

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