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Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires PRESS

Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires have skipped right over the formative section of their career and stepped with both feet right into their potential. There is a Bomb in Gilead is an ass-kicking, heart-pumping, soul-reflecting chunk of rock n’ roll goodness that another ten years on the road couldn’t make any more honest or cohesive. This album is a statement of purpose. – Farce the Music
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It won’t be easy finding a recent set transmitting more passion or generating more soul-burnin’ BTU’s than the debut disc of this Birmingham-based four-piece. Bains’ so aptly-named band serves up a combustible blend of Southern rock and soul, the bandleader’s writing tapping deep roots as he throws down vocally with an authority well beyond his years. There’s not one slouch among the tracks on Gilead but the ballads “Reba” and “Righteous, Ragged Songs” and the raver “The Red, Red Dirt Of Home” jump out. This one ought to make more than a few “Best Of” lists this year. – Duane Verh / Roots Music Report
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On their new full-length, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, Bains and his quartet explore a brand-new South: “Everything You Took” mentions a Walker Percy novel and a Ramones T-shirt, while “Magic City Stomp” is garage-rock that quotes the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Bains has brains and humor, and the band can really stomp. – Edd Hurt / Nashville Scene
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While The Glory Fires may be more roots-leaning than Bains’ earlier unit [The Dexateens], they retain more than the recommended daily value of piss and vinegar, all of which is distilled into the band’s 180 proof debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead. – Richard ‘Luftmensch’ Morgan / My Old Kentucky Blog
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This is rock ‘n’ roll from the South, dirty and distinguished, polished (but not too much) to a Motor City shine. Fresh, soulful, assured, There is a Bomb in Gilead is damn fine debut from Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. – Steve Wilson / Reverberations
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This is a country rocking, blues wailing, soul screaming message from the depths of the dirty South. Lee Bains III (ex-Dexateens) charismatically gnashes, moans, and croons his way through a rich, earthy mix of songs. While the tracks on There’s a Bomb in Gilead shift genres, Bains’ voice and his vise-grip tight band maintain a consistent all-or-nothing attitude to drive every song. – Jester Jay
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There Is A Bomb In Gilead is deep, reflective and soulful. It’s wildly passionate music from a highly cohesive band that fuses influences like Al Green, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers. – Anthony Weightman / AAA Music
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There are a few songs that had – had – to have been recorded at midnight by their sound and vibe (the weary goodbye of “Everything You Took”; the snapping, biting “Ain’t No Stranger”). And if the stripped-to-the-bone title track wasn’t laid down on a Sunday morning, well, I don’t want to know about it. People spend careers (and a lot of production bucks) trying to sound this soulful. This is a debut album? Holy ol’ Christ … Hang on, world: here come Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. – Brian Robbins / Jambands
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There are few artists who nail their debut albums. Lee Bains & the Glory Fires happen to be one of the few. The album is a collection of strong tunes that can each stand alone but when listened to as a whole are really powerful. The more I listen to it the better it sounds as I discover something different with each spin. For those of you out there who say there is no good new music need to give There Is A Bomb in Gilead a listen it will have you reconsidering your thinking. – Chris Martin / Examiner
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Between the twang in Bains’ voice, the twang in his guitars, and the plaintive howl of the melodies, this music is Southern by the grace of God, and Bains and his bandmates — guitarist Matt Wurtele, bassist Justin Colburn, and drummer Blake Williamson — aren’t afraid to show their colors, whether it’s on the R&B-influenced groove of "Everything You Took," the C&W weeper "Reba," the old-school Southern rock strut of "Righteous, Ragged Songs," or the high-speed buzz of "Centreville." While Bains talks a good game about punk rock in his lyrics, this music is less about high-velocity grit than the homey texture of red dirt, and the band’s instincts and feel are pretty undeniable here, sounding as natural and as potent as a jar of iced tea and bourbon. – Mark Deming / All Music Guide
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The title song, which closes out the album, is the real sleeper, its gospel melody worn threadbare, its arrangements cut back to piano, drums, a little bass, and rough and righteous call and response. It’s a slow song, but backed with drama, as Bains squeals like James Brown, rasps like O.V. Wright and stretches out the climaxes like the Reverend Al Green. Not many punk bands could bear the scrutiny of such a long, tight close-up, but Lee Bains and his guys get better the more you look at them. – Jennifer Kelly / Dusted
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I value music that comes from the heart and soul; sincerity can’t be faked or manufactured. Soul is something that is not lacking on this record. There is a classic Muscle Shoals brand of soul in some of the songs, but more specifically there is more of a spiritual soul in the music that is lacking in the majority of modern music. – Cory Pennington / TuscaloosaNews
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Between the back-porch balladry – perhaps best summed up in aptly titled Righteous, Ragged Songs but not bypassing the achingly steel-guitar addled Reba, deservingly redolent of Gram Parsons – that spread out from majestic psych-tinged opener Ain’t No Stranger, there’s equally ragged and so so right bar-brawlers like the raucous Scorchers’ blast of Centreville, each n’ every equally ladled with some subtle lyrical flourishes and guitar weavery. – Stu Gibson / Louder Than War
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‘Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’, from Birmingham, Alabama, are technical masters of their art. Their art: out and out barnstorming Southern rock ‘n’ roll. Sharing qualities and characteristics of every critic’s favourite new band, Alabama Shakes, whom they have also toured with, The Glory Fires are more powerful, more faithful to the southern sound of the USA and carry an unrivalled authenticity. – Redbrick
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Sounds like MC5 meets the Ozark Mountain Daredevils… – Mankindchasingitstail
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Lee Bains III & The GloryFires are burning up audiences far & wide with a proud Southern garage soul sound. – Lagniappe
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In contrast to the Rolling Stones with Exile on Main Street or Primal Scream with Give In, But Don’t Give Up, who because of geography and class, were always only paying homage to the genre, the Glory Fires, who are from Birmingham, Alabama, are the real thing with their unique brand of “Southern rock”. – John Clarkson / Pennyblack Music
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I’m going to go as far as calling it a Southern rock manifesto. I will go even further and make comparisons to The Band: in addition to stellar displays of musicianship, it’s hard not to hear Lee Bains and his band’s love of Southern rock. Except these guys are actually from the South. – Adobe and Teardrops
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This record is a pure and unadulterated product of the south. The influence of soul like Pickett and southern rock like the Allman Brothers is extremely self-evident but one can also hear hints of R.E.M. in these songs and even some twinges of garage rock (ala Primal Scream). – Oklahoma Lefty
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So many times, I get caught up on the first couple of songs on a new album, mostly because I am feeble-brained with a moderate case of ADD, but on There Is A Bomb In Gilead, it’s the last three songs that sealed the deal. “Roebuck Parkway” is a great acoustic number that would fit in nicely on Jason Isbell’s Here We Rest. "Robeuck Parkway" is the main thoroughfare through Birmingham and the tune reminicses on his youth in Alabama. – HearYa
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You can sit around wishing a band would emerge sounding like a fusion of the Stones circa Exile on Main Street and the Band at its down ‘n’ dirtiest – with a touch of the Allman Brothers, and a few shakes of CCR’s “anything could happen tonight” wildness. And nothing happens. But, within the last few years, something’s wafted up from Birmingham, Alabama. It’s shot through with juicy, smoky, backyard barbecue rock/blues/swamp punch. – Mary Leary / San Diego Entertainer
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Interview: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. – You Hear This?
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Recorded in the heart of Dixie and mixed in the Motor City, the debut release from Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires burns a path through the American musical landscape on which lesser bands have become hopelessly lost. These boys are forging a sound based on garage rock guts, southern riffs and gospel flavors that was first explored by the Rolling Stones 40 years ago on Exile on Main St. The difference here is the Stones were doing an homage to the sounds they learned to love. On There is a Bomb in Gilead, with Bains on vocals, drummer Blake Williamson, bass player Justin Colburn, and guitar player Matt Wurtele…the band plays like the stuff Gram Parsons called ‘Cosmic American Music’ is in their DNA. – Auditory Arson
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A one time member of the now-defunct Dexateens, Lee Bains III continues where his former band left us, delivering a set of raw, punky, southern fried blues-rock that pulls inspirations as far and wide as Al Green and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to late-’60s Stones, Allman Brothers, Stooges and MC5. Of course, this will go great with Alabama Shakes’ recent album, only Bains and Co are that much more world weary, road-tested and real-deal. – Other Music
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The upbeat tunes suggest a mix between Mitch Ryder, Iggy Pop and pre-punk garage rock. Bains’ church roots surface in spiritual vocabulary, a few testimonial vocals and the mondegreenian album title (drawn from the traditional “There is a Balm in Gilead”). Even the band’s name is homophonic, drawn from a mishearing of “glorifiers.” Bains wears his Southern roots proudly, singing of the summers and cities that made up his childhood, and reveling in the land and literature. The Glory Fires play with the confidence, tight grooves and practiced looseness of a band that’s piled up more miles than they’ve yet to roll onto an odometer. – Hyperbolium
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Bains sounds as born to write rock & roll in this vein as peers like Ted Russell Kamp and the Pawnshop Roses. For the Glory Fires, it’s all about "Righteous, Ragged Songs," and Bains and the band deliver that in spades on There is a Bomb in Gilead. – Michael Toland / Blurt
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Lee Bains III calls it “dirty Alabama rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s Southern rock — being from the Deep South and being rock — but there’s something awfully raw about it. A little brawny Muscle Shoals R&B and gritty Memphis soul with a sweaty dose of ’70s Detroit punk. – Shea Stewart / Sync
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There Is A Bomb In Gilead is sexy. The result is everything The Drive-By Truckers have been trying to become since Jason left/was kicked out of the band. The result is pure rock and roll. Pure Muscle Shoals. Pure Essential Listening. Pure American music. – Ninebullets
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Guitarist/singer/songwriter Lee Bains III leads his Birmingham, Alabama–based band in a raucous exploration of the intersection between garage rock, soul, country and punk on this full-length debut. Not unlike acts like the Black Keys, Bains manages to merge these styles into a rollicking, timeless sound with plenty of six-string swagger. – Guitar World
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There is a Bomb in Gilead – which is a lyric of a traditional spiritual about the salvation of the soul through Christ (the “balm”, not “bomb”) that Bains misheard as a child – incorporates some of the most iconic regional styles of American music, from Muscle Shoals to Detroit garage rock to delta blues of Mississippi. – JFelton / Record Dpt.
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Everything You Took : she took his Ramones T-shirt, and she took his Walker Percy book. On a grooving slice of southern rock with a tasty Muscle Shoals-soaked guitar solo, all a broken-hearted dude asks for in return is small hope and a touch of sweet mercy. – Brad Wheeler / Five new songs you need to hear – The Globe & Mail
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Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – concert review : Impossibly young to be churning out some petty intricate tunes, the technique and depth of their musical skills and knowledge was simply astounding, switching between some Southern-fried boogie, country twinge and some soul that would make Charley Pride, well, proud. – Laina Dawes / Exclaim
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The Glory Fires have already made waves around the Southeast, both for the music the band makes and for the state the guys call home. They’ve appeared with The Alabama Shakes, and like the Drive-By Truckers before them, they’re helping call attention to a region that’s often overlooked for its contributions to rock ‘n’ roll. – Steve Wildsmith / Daily Times
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The band’s combination of rock, punk, soul and country is typical of the sound that comes out of the Quad Cities, an area in North Alabama rich with musical talent going back to the 1960′s. – interview for DeadJournalist
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The song "Everything You Took" from the Alive Naturalsound compilation Where Is Parker Griggs? is as down, sweet and soulful as anything this side of Al Green. I’m not lying and I’m not exaggerating — Bains is an amazing talent. Soul music this good just has to be heard. Spread the word. – When You Motor Away …
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The band’s debut album, There is a Bomb in Gilead has a genuine feel to it – it’s good Southern music made in the South. With themes of country, rock and gospel, the album couldn’t have better represented all the deep facets of the region. It couldn’t have represented them any more truthfully, either. – Hilary Butscheck / Red And Black
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This is Americana roots music that would not sound out of place on Lost Highway. And yet, the band’s influences seem to have been absorbed through the skin so that what you’re hearing is akin to musical moonshine from a rusty old still. It goes down smooth, and packs a kick that’ll have you refilling your jar for more. – The Recordchanger
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Each track is chock full of southern storytelling, but choruses give way to great anthematic singalongs. The track “Everything You Took” most perfectly shows the blending of styles. With a nostalgic, soulful verse, Bains sings about a failed relationship with mentions of lost Ramones t-shirts and Walker Percy books, before a blistering guitar solo gives way to a chorus as catchy as they come, with heavy background vocals and an optimistic sense of “everything is going to be okay.” – Marquee Magazine
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“I feel like gospel music and punk rock both reward passion, to be true and really meant it. That’s what’s really valued in both of those communities, honesty and putting your heart and soul into it". – Lee Bains interview for Get Local
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Stepping into the Spotlight with Lee Bains III. – Interview with BostonMusic.com
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The Glory Fires achieve that difficult balance between deep Southern soul and hard alt.country. On tracks like "Ain’t No Stranger" and "Centreville", Bains howls in front of a band that will please any fan of the garage-y grunge of bands like Black Keys. Other tunes sound like they could’ve been penned by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. – Routes & Branches
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"The most striking things about the album is that you’re so clearly a band from Alabama, and in the best possible way." – Lee Bains interview with Birmingham Box Set
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("Everything You Took") features a soulful rock vibe capturing Muscle Shoals’ classic era.
(It does not hurt that the song name drops Walker Percy either!) – Swampland
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(“Centreville”) a hot tune combining garage punk energy with Southern rock aesthetics. This long-awaited debut LP should be one of the hottest release of 2012. – L’ Apenetration
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Sometimes a fella just needs some rock and roll. Irreverant, loud music that transports you into a more rebellious sense, the kind of radical rock and roll the Stooges played. – Music Savage
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I haven’t posted on here in awhile, but maybe that’s because I haven’t heard anything as awesome as “Righteous, Ragged Songs” in a long time. – Heavy Boot Music

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