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God Fires Man

A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun

(In De Goot; US: 18 Mar 2008; UK: Available as import)

God Fires Man is a perfectly competent hard rock band. All of the members play their instruments skillfully without being particularly flashy, while singer/guitarist Arthur Shepherd has a big singing voice that ranges from gravelly rasp to soaring howl. The production on A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun is strong as well—big and balanced, with a slight emphasis on the vocals and drums. And that’s about where the positives end. God Fires Man sounds like any number of generic hard rock bands that churn out decent music without an original idea in sight. There are touches of Muse-style epics here, particularly on “Killer”, which sounds like an outtake that Muse rejected because the song never goes anywhere. But the overriding impression the band leaves is that of a half-baked Foo Fighters, answering the unasked question, “What would Foo Fighters sound like if Dave Grohl had no charisma and his band had no creativity?”

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