Season of Fire – Season of Fire

Season of Fire
Season of Fire
1985 (independent)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Richard Blatt – Lead vocals
Gersom Rivera – Lead and rhythm guitars
James Ruvalcaba – Bass, keyboards
Kenny Lopez – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Problems
  2. Without a Trace
  3. Numb World

Side 2:

  1. Interview with Kevin Allison KMBU 98.1 FM (with bonus song “Passion”)

This demo had a cool surprise when I ripped it to digital. I had gotten some mp3s of the 3 tracks listed on the j-card a few years ago. But the interview was not included. So when I saw there was an interview here, I decided to rip that as well. Turns out, there are four songs played during the interview – one is apparently a bonus track hidden in the interview. Goes to show you – always check side 2 :). The music here is mostly a mix of various alternative styles. “Problems“ is a strong track, with a slight influence from The Police. “Without a Trace” is the most alternative sounding song (and also a very strong song as well), with a cool… solo?… between the bass guitar and keyboards. “Numb World” leans a bit towards rock and even surf/punk-ish rock at times. But it also suffers a tad (not too much, though) from being the most cliché song on the demo. The bonus track hidden in the interview (an early version of “Passion” from their next ep Tested by Fire) shows a bit more of a U2 influence. The interview gives you a bit more insight into the band members (since they aren’t listed on the j-card) while playing all of the songs on the demo (plus the extra one). It seems to be a master copy of the recording that the radio station used, complete with count in. For some reason, all bands back then were obsessed with giving their age it seems. But it is one of the better interviews I have heard included on a demo (fewest cringe moments?).

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Season of Fire – Tested by Fire

Season of Fire
Tested by Fire
1987 (no label)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Richard Blatt – Lead Vocals
Kenny Lopez – Drums
Gersom Rivera – Lead and Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, background vocals, congas
Jaime Ruvalcaba – Bass, keyboards

Side 1:

  1. Suffering
  2. Passion
  3. Brother’s Blood

Side 2:

  1. Maple Street
  2. Streetman Disapproval

This album was shared in a Facebook group. It is technically a vinyl rip, but this album is really rare, and the group had a tape demo in 1985, so I thought I would document it here. None of the three songs from the demo appear to have made it on this album. The sound here reminds me somewhat of an American Just the Job, but with less punk and more 80s alternative. To me, they seem to be at their strongest when they are doing the darker alternative sounds on songs like “Brother’s Blood” and Maple Street.” But I can’t deny the catchiness of the power pop influenced open track, either. Not sure where the band went after this release, however.