Personnel: John Goodsall (guitar, midi guitar); Doug Lunn (5-string bass, fretless bass); Toss Panos (drums).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Gilbert.
Recording information: Lawnmower & Garden Supply, Pasadena, CA.
Director: Michael Kelley .
Photographer: Mike Meadows.
Fire Merchants seem to have been created as guitarist John Goodsall's anxiety-release mechanism. Although harder rock tendencies have surfaced from time to time in his former band Brand X, the fundamental aim of the Merchants is the use and abuse of amplified power. The pyrotechnic guitar storms of the Merchants' first record downplayed Brand X's eccentricities and jazzed-up rhetoric. An incredible follow-up, LORDS OF ATLANTIS further defines the trend, favoring even more dense chords and rhythms.
Goodsall continues to create sounds via electric and MIDIfied guitar, and his compositions are as awry, prickly, and tumultuous as ever. About the only places X marks the spot are the peculiar time changes of "Healing Dream" and "The Last Future." Otherwise, we're the recipients of such barn-burners as "Flamekeeper"--in which the band volleys through one helluva Deep Purple/fusion intersection, if you can imagine such a thing--"9 28 91," with its utterly irresistible guitar synth and earthquake bass, and the thunderously furious title track. Burn, baby, burn.