PYRO - Stop The World

Pyro - Stop The World

11 songs
43:22 minutes
***** **


In the twelve years between their charming little hardrock album Velvet Glove (1992) and the disappointing follow-up Breaking Point (2004), Pyro took a one-off in the middle with the release of the EP Stop The World, which has now also been re-released, to complete the back-catalogue of this curious French hardrock band.

Stop The World saw the band for the first time with Scottish singer Jay Burnett, who sounds fresher on the EP than on the following album six years later. The hardrock vibes from the debut have all but gone, although some shine still through at time, and Burnett’s vocals are clearer than those of his predecessor, making for some weird Californian sunshine music, which works especially well on the opener California Smile (these guys must have listened to Y&T) and on the final Celtic Soul, which has more of an Irish feeling. The remaining material is good if not exactly overwhelming, but at least the ballad Tell Me Girl does work rather ok this time.

As a bonus, the label added the unreleased EP Time Of Confusion from 1986, a truly ancient piece of French hardrock, with original singer Dave Danger on vocals, and believe it or not, but the production is not bad at all. In those early days, Pyro didn’t have the sunny atmosphere of these subsequent works, heading rather into a straighter AC/DC direction, but these are five uncompromising, whiskey-drenched rock songs that are not only equal, but even better to the main program.

If you want to start somewhere with Pyro, this re-release of Stop The World is the best place to start, because you get both sides of them in equal measures, and then it’s up to you to decide if you prefer their glam or their rock side. I definitely opt for their hardrock period, which they will certainly continue in the future, although, the way their release schedule was in the past, I won’t expect a new album before 2010, although 2013 will even be a more realistic guess. But that’s ok, considering that I had to review four of their albums only this year.

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