BONFIRE "Fireworks" (1988)
By Dana Brittingham
Cover: 3 Biersteins out of 10.
It’s no mystery what kind of music this is: they’re a hair band. The cover shows all four Bonfire guys, making some seriously uninspired poseur-faces. One guy looks like he doesn’t want to be there and another seems to be looking for a clock. If I had played on this album, I’d probably look bored too.
Booklet: 3 Bratwursts out of 10.
CD booklets generally weren’t real exciting in the 80s, and this one is no exception. Just some thanks, credits and a boring black and white band photo.
Songs: 2 Liederhosen out of 10.
The CD starts off OK. They seem like competent players and the singer’s got an alright voice. With producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy, Skid Row, Metallica, etc.) at the helm, production quality is well above average. The songs are just so… well, boring. It’s hard to maintain interest beyond the first few tracks. By the end of the disc, I could set myself on fire.
Comments: Bonfire comes from Bavaria, home of Oktoberfest, so maybe they were hung over when they wrote these songs. "Fireworks" was their feeble attempt to break into the American market. Even with a boring video on MTV, it flopped, and they had to cancel their U.S. club tour for lack of ticket sales. Bonfire did manage to land on the soundtrack to the 1989 Wes Craven film "Shocker", recording an unreleased KISS song, "Sword And Stone". After that, we never heard from them again in the States. They’ve continued to chug along for years in Europe, writing tunes with Don Dokken and touring with bands like Judas Priest and ZZ Top until Germany’s taste for home-grown rock became as sour as yesterday’s Wienerschnitzel. After a few lineup changes in the mid-90s, Bonfire re-emerged in 1997 and has put out an independent album every year since then. In fact, they just released their 10th CD. Could Bonfire be the Enuff Z’Nuff of Germany? Nah, Enuff Z’Nuff never had an album as boring as "Fireworks". This CD would make great kindling when starting your own bonfire.