Friday, May 20, 2016

Fire Merchants - 1994 - Landlords of Atlantis

Fire Merchants 
Landlords of Atlantis

01. Landlords of Atlantis
02. Worlds in Modulation
03. 9 28 91
04. Healing Dream
05. Sybil
06. Lifetimes
07. Flamekeeper
08. (And Again) Hamsterdam
09. Thing 15
10. The Last Future

- John Goodsall / guitar, Midi guitar
- Doug Lunn / basses, piano
- Toss Panos / drums

 for recording purposes Goodsall renamed the Firemerchants, Brand X West (e.g. for one of those King Crimson tribute albums), when BX's remaining members were arguing the toss over ownership of the name - Percy Jones had Brand X East in NYC, which effectively became Tunnels (and Goodsall is known to guest).

I've also called this an early example of metal jazz fusion (Shaun Baxter's Jazz Metal being released about the same time), and what I heard on several tracks had me going further coining the term 'grunge jazz rock' (1992 was around the height of grunge). Landlords of Atlantis stuck me as a jazz rock album that had quite a bit new and dynamic about it. But it needed a sympathetic producer to provide vigorous advice on its contents. The title track is wonderful for the first 2minutes 30seconds (or there abouts), but Goodsall has the bit between his teeeth and noodles on for double that length of time: a classic example of less is more. I'm told the record company thought this track was self-indulgent - there is an explanation but I daren't repeat it here. The best complete tracks are 9 28 91, Sybil (my favourite on which Goodsall on guitar and Midi travels seamlessly through several forms of heavy rock), Flamekeeper, (And Again) Hamsterdam (a rerun from the first album) and Thing 15. The remaining tracks are far from bad but the ones I like are so much better and have been played on a regular basis since 1992 - the title track with it s sampled US marine corp trailing song, English church bells, always gets play.



  2. Outside of Brand X I know nothing of John Goodsall's career. I look forward to this. Many thanks.