From Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain to Presidents Of The United States Of America and Sir Mix A Lot, the Jet City has a musical history as rich and storied as it is vast - now Seattle rockers Girl On Fire are emerging to write a chapter all their own.
After just one listen to "The Takedown" - the lead single from the band's debut album Not Broken [July 9, 2013 - Century Media Records] - one is transported from the overcast and down-tuned landscape of the Pacific Northwest to a place where energy and enthusiasm explode at every corner. Girl On Fire aren't inspired by what gets them down, they're driven by what gets them through - and that is the battle cry of Not Broken, an album that prides itself in inspired lyrics, infectious hooks, rattling breakdowns and overpowering intensity.
Produced and mixed by Jay Baumgardner [Papa Roach, Evanescence, Sevendust] and mastered by Howie Weinberg [Nirvana, Aerosmith, The White Stripes], Not Broken is a combustible combination of crisp riffs and body-shaking rhythms, a guitar-driven thrill ride primed to take radio by storm and leave the world rocking in its wake. The band are proud of their influences, and wear their love of superstar acts like Linkin Park and Foo Fighters on their sleeve... with their own interpretation, of course.
"Working with Jay was amazing, it was a huge learning experience," says frontman Austin Held of the band's six weeks spent recording at NRG Studios with the legendary Baumgardner. "It was an honor to work with someone who's played such a huge part on so many of our favorite records, and it was also a lot of work - because his name is on so many of the albums that we grew up listening to, he made sure our album was uniquely ours."
Tracks like "Reminds Me Of You" and "Break These Chains" resonate with the depth that characterizes Not Broken, the first a heartfelt and passionate look at the stain that lingers from a past relationship, and the latter a racing rocker that is already a staple in the band's live shows, a powder keg of pure release and unbridled freedom. "Losing My Identity" is an anthem for anyone who's ever felt lost, "Ready To Fight" is the adrenaline rush that follows when one finds that missing sense of direction and purpose, and "Run" offers a jarring acoustic finale to the album - all three tracks embracing the reoccurring spirit that flows through Not Broken.
"Everyone experiences ups and downs life, but the ups and downs are what make life worth living," says Held. "We have all looked broken, and we have all felt broken - but we are not broken."
Formed in the summer of 2007, Girl On Fire - Held, guitarist Nick McMahon, bassist Josh Mouser and drummer Harry MacDonald - have made good use of their time together, developing a sound and spirit all their own and a live chemistry that is undeniable. Repeat winners of local Ernie Ball battles of unsigned bands, the band's first taste of the big stage came on a Seattle Warped Tour stop - and they haven't stopped since, capturing early tours with the likes of Burn Halo, Hell Or Highwater and Get Scared on the legs of a 5-track Revenge EP. Setting up Not Broken, 2013 has already seen the band on runs with live powerhouses including Buckcherry, Filter and Otherwise, in a marquee slot on the inaugural JVC Mobile Entertainment Plugged In Tour: Road To Sturgis, and also on the Welcome To Rockville and Fort Rock festivals.
Hailed by The Aquarian Weekly for their "radio friendly sound that still maintains its roots in dark alternative rock," Girl On Fire are ready for what comes next - they are ready for the takedown.