Raging Fire: Everything is Roses – 1985-1989

RagingFire_EverythingIsRosesMid-80s post-punk from the heart of country music

From a vantage point on the West Coast, Jason and the Nashville Scorchers seemed to be an anomaly – a rock band from Nashville – and when they dropped “Nashville” from their name, the connection between Music City and native-born rock music grew even more tenuous. But the Scorchers turn out to be both the nationally known emblem of and an inspiration for a lively Nashville rock scene that was broader than the mating of country and punk. A less widely known darling of that scene was Raging Fire, whose mid-to-late ‘80s catalog is sampled for this 22-track anthology.

Fronted by vocalist Melora Zaner, Raging Fire could pull back and give hints of their Nashville origins, but the band’s dynamic rock ‘n’ roll rage was more in line with the barking poetry of Patti Smith, post-punk of X and new wave studio sounds of the 80s, than southern rock or country twang. Even the band’s acoustic numbers, such as “After Loving One Man From East Texas,” have some bite. Had they been in San Francisco or Los Angeles, or five years later in Olympia, things might have been different; but as it played out, they attracted attention from record labels, but never closed a deal.

The group toured the midwest and south, and gained college radio play for their EP A Family Thing and album Faith Love Was Made Of. The former is included here in its entirety, the latter sampled alongside demos and tracks drawn from compilation albums. Without a label deal, the band’s momentum stalled, the members’ lives moved in different directions, and the group drifted and broke apart. With this first-ever reissue, it’s still hard to imagine this music coming out of Nashville, but even harder to imagine there wasn’t one label who could get this band signed. [©2015 Hyperbolium]

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