Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fuel Breaks Up

I've been a big fan of the band Fuel since hearing their debut album on Epic, Sunburn way back in 1999. They became instantly popular with songs like "Shimmer", "Jesus or a Gun", and "Bittersweet." Sunburn was the kind of album that made late 90s rock great. It still had some of the edge of the grunge movement, but focused on melody in most tracks. A must own for just about any collection.

The follow up album, Something Like Human, featured the wildly popular "Hemmorhage," "Bad Day," and "Innocent." Another great, great rock album. More melodic and missing the rawness of Sunburn, but still a great listen.

The third, and ultimately final, Fuel album was Natural Selection. It's good for about six tracks, but overall, Fuel's weakest attempt.

Well now Fuel has announced that drummer Kevin Miller and lead singer Brett Scallions have each left the band, leaving guitarists/songwriter Carl Bell and bassist Jeff Abercrombie. While Bell and Abercrombie are each talented, it's hard to see how Fuel can progress past losing Miller (check out his drumwork on the song "Down" from SLH) and Scallions whose vocals have become a band trademark.

As much as I enjoyed Fuel albums, their live performances really put them over the top for me. I saw them in small venues (the Copper Dragon in Carbondale, Ill.), large arenas (Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY) and outside (at Riverstages in Nashville, Tn). Terrific every single time I saw them live.

It's too bad. I've got several bands I really like (Tonic, Dashboard Confessional, Nickel Creek, etc) but Fuel was one of my favorites for certain. RIP Fuel.


BRATCH said...

The only problem I had with Fuel is that while they had some good songs, it was night and day when they played live. I liked some of their album work, but when Piccu, you and I saw them at Freedom Hall, I was amazed.

They were 150 times harder live and put on an awesome show and as much as Hemorrage was overplayed, it was one of the highlights of the night and one of the coolest concert moments I've witnessed.

When he sang the first verse by himself with no music and pretty much all 15,000 people singing it with him before hammering into the chorus, it would send chills down your spine.

That was a pretty rockin' concert. Buckcherry (before they went insane), Fuel and Kidrock. Not very many shows are that good for the money. Say what you will about Kidrock, but the dude can put together a great tour and great show.

I'm waiting for Kidrock to come to Roberts Stadium again. Roberts is small, but the concert experience is great. You can see a good show and be in and out in 2 minutes.

Travis said...

yeah live Fuel was just intense. That's what stinks about Brett leaving is that he was a GREAT frontman.

I completely agree about Kidrock. I'd never own a Kidrock album again, but in concert he's great.

Piccu said...

I agree with Bratch. I got a copy of a Fuel CD, not sure which one, and I was kind of underwhelmed at the sound. I was not excited at all about seeing them live at Freedom Hall, but they blew me away. They were 10 times better than Buckcherry and I really liked Buckcherry.

It's a shame that they couldn't get their sound live onto a CD, or at least the CD I listened to. Even their "ballads" live sounded heavy and loud. I won't be shedding a tear for their demise, but I will have fond memeories of surprising live show.