'Anger Management', Firesign's first full-length album features the vocal talents of hard rock hellion from Hiroshima, Aya; and the heavy metal headbanger from Hokkaido, Masaki Yamada. Masaki, former front-man for Flatbacker, EZO and Loudness, showcases here, the full repertoire of his talents, alternating between bassist and guitarist for several tracks on the album. The overall theme of the album, however, can be accredited to Aya, herself an award winning poet and lyricist in her hometown, Hiroshima. Anger Management is an 11-track insight into the tumultuous thoughts and endured experiences that have stoked the flames of rebellion within her. The captivatingly haunting harmony achieved on the track 'Samsara' elicits a sense of the soul-shearing suffering of the Hibakusha, survivors of the bombings of Nagasaki and of Hiroshima, from which she is descended. It seems appropriate, that 'Samsara' is preceded by the song, 'Explode', which embraces the tension and anxiety left in the wake of 9/11. (Originally featured on the band's 2002 debut CD single, 'Rise From The Ashes', a tribute to those lives lost during the September 11th attacks.) The gripping guitar riffs on these two tracks were lain down by guest guitarist Masami Doi from EP Markings and Hot Water Duxie. 'Cyber-Haters' and 'Unjustified', written and arranged entirely by Aya and Masaki, focus on issues that, although, less political in nature, are no less an affront, against which these two tracks serve as rhythmic retaliation, driving home the point that, any injustice, no matter how great or how small, must be spoken out on; lest the perpetrators think themselves free of repercussions. A little more than half-way into the album, the listener is taken on a sojourn of Aya's soulful side with the LP's one ballad, 'No More Dream Girl', an emotionally expressive tale of escape from the imposed expectations inflicted by assumed familiarity. This track, as well as the album's ending song, 'My Soul' add to the atmospherical anguish, that is 'Anger Management'. Not surprisingly, both songs were co-written and arranged by Goh Kurosawa, a guitarist deeply disposed to duality. In preparing this release for print, I've gone over these songs in endless succession and when all's said and done, I'd have to say that my new personal favorite on this album would have to be Track 9, 'Hammering The Way Out'. Why not have a listen and let us know what you think?
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