"Perhaps Nashville’s greatest band of the original Rock Block era, O.G. Nashville Curse victims Raging Fire . . . returns to Exit/In on Saturday, and not just for another nostalgia trip. The rebuilt band has new music, and this is a pre-release show for These Teeth Are Sharp, RF’s long-awaited (to make an understatement) sophomore LP. So expect to hear some new tunes — for real."
“Today they would probably fall under the broad label of “indie rock." Having a strong, charismatic female singer in Melora Zaner, who often focused lyrics on literate and Southern gothic themes, set Raging Fire apart from the herd and also gave the band a feminine edge. They were challenging and certainly different than everything else out there . . . for those in the know they had an original sound that was unrivaled and damn good.”
Now, 25 years later, a much-needed anthology of Raging Fire's recordings has arrived to secure their legacy in the digital age. Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, due Oct. 6, is a collection of all the band's vital recordings, many of which are previously unreleased, some having been painstakingly mastered from dusty old cassettes. The vinyl packaging is stunning, with a lavish 12-page booklet full of notes, lyrics, photos, show fliers, etc., plus a 24-song download.”
"Raging Fire could pull back and give hints of their Nashville origins, but the band’s dynamic rock ‘n’ roll rage was more in line with the barking poetry of Patti Smith and post-punk of X than southern rock or country twang. Even the band’s acoustic numbers, such as “After Loving One Man From East Texas,” have some bite."
"Raging Fire cranked out a near-country rock brand of college music -- as this sort of thing was termed at the time -- that's closer to Patti Smith than it is to Lone Justice. . . The overall effect of listening to Everything is Roses: 1985-1989 by Raging Fire is surely what the makers of this compilation intended: an awareness that this was a band that you should have been listening to in the late Eighties, and a band you should be re-discovering now if you didn't hear them then. Raging Fire deserve a lot of attention and luckily this collection should do the trick of generating it. Fans of X, Patti Smith Group, Romeo Void, Lone Justice, and The Divinyls would be well advised to grab this one now. Then read the liner notes, put in the CD, and crank up the volume."
"How can a band that was this good and this original not succeed? Shortly after Raging Fire broke up, grunge happened. And grunge sounded a whole lot like what Raging Fire was doing. In fact, one of the things that’s so striking about Everything Is Roses is how much it sounds like a meatier Sleater-Kinney album. Raging Fire’s new track, “More Than This” is chunky and fierce. They’ve still got it. Everything is Roses 1985-1989 is fascinating and infuriating. Raging Fire was such an excellent band, obviously influential and ahead of their time. Perhaps now they will get their due.”
“One of the more interesting releases to cross my desk this year. Everything is Roses 1985-1989 is a look back at one of those ‘what ifs’ in rock history. It may not have caught on nearly three decades ago but it was creative and remains interesting today.”
"Everything is Roses contains cuts from the EP and LP, compilation tracks from the Nashville round-up Hear Rock City: Tennessee Tracks and the now-seminal CMJ comp Ten of a Kind, as well as a pile of demos that could pass for full studio tracks. The band eschewed gimmicks and, for the most part, the Big ‘80s sound, lending the cuts a timeless feel. Blazing rockers like “You and Me,” “The Morning in Her” and “A Desire Scorned” rage like the barnburners you wish your local bar band was playing. The band got more expansive as it got older – “Under the Awning,” “Big Tent” and “I Like to Watch (Feels Good to Be Laughing)” show an ambition to create the kind of anthems that impress thinking rockers and lighter-wavers alike. Other standouts include “The Dry Spell,” a jangling slice of heartland rock, “After Loving One Man in East Texas,” an acoustic lament, and “The Marrying Kind,” the band’s contribution of Ten of a Kind, and probably its best-known and quintessential track."
"After a couple spins of the 79-minute slab, it’s clear that Raging Fire was a band ahead of its time."
"As the saying goes, while likeminded Nashville insurgents Jason and the Scorchers merged the Sex Pistols with Hank Williams, Raging Fire merged the Clash with Tennessee Williams. . . Now, though, the members have collaborated in order to release a 30th anniversary celebration, Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, . . .those of you with long memories will be have your faith rewarded and newcomers to the cause will simply be floored.”
“The band was ahead of its time, predating the grunge movement by several years. Though CMJ voted the Nashville group one of America's best unsigned bands in 1988, no one knew how to market them back then. In the mid 1980s, people were more interested in big hair and keyboards than in-your-face rock and roll.”
“The nexus wherein country and punk styles meet has been explored by a number of noteworthy bands: X and Lone Justice are two that come immediately to mind. Far less-known was Nashville’s Raging Fire. Singer Melora Zaner wrote songs that explored feminism, an all-too-uncommon perspective in popular music. Everything is Roses brings together the band’s 1985 debut EP A Family Thing, their 1986 album Faith Love Was Made Of, a clutch of unreleased material documenting the group up through the end of the 80s, and a pretty ace new track, “More Than This” (most definitely not a Roxy Music cover).”
“This ain’t your typical Nashville Sound! Everything is Roses anthologizes the career of Music City’s groundbreaking alt-rockers Raging Fire. . . with their singular sound incorporating punk, rock, folk, country, and more.”
“The alternative sound of 'A Desire Scorned' and 'Under The Awning' helped lay the stepping stones for that genre.”
“Melora Zaner had a powerful, riot grrrl voice that could be both laid back and explosive and wrote provocative, non-linear lyrics.”
Hal Horowitz American Songwriter October 9, 2015
“Here’s an album we never expected to see. Raging Fire was a buzz band in the late ‘80s in Nashville, joining Jason and the Scorchers in a dynamic new rock scene in the city. Everything is Roses collects 24 tracks from their heyday. Cool and historic.”
“These indie pioneers helped push the boundaries of the Nashville music scene beyond just country, with a style that blended rock and punk, paving the way for the grunge movement of the nineties.”
“Raging Fire burns its own path. From the start, the band has been determined to create a personal highly individualized sound and style. They balance an aggressive, explosive, attack with a fragile sensuality, and that write complex songs that are literate and provocative and present them with a raw, physical edge. The band has evolved in the best sense. Their vision remains their own –only now the view is broader and cleaner. They play with force and tension, and they are great.”
Michael McCall Nashville Banner 1988
"A band so determined to stake out its own stylistic turf is a band to watch."
Don McLeese Chicago Sun-Times May 23, 1984
“Raging Fire was one of my favorite Nashville bands of the '80s and all-time, really. They released a 4-song 12" EP called "A Family Thing" in 1985 . . . It's a perfect document of this ambitious, fiery band and manages to meld all of their influences into hard rocking nuggets that explode on the turntable. "You Should Read More Books" is my favorite song from that EP. Raging Fire were working a similar vein as Jason & The Scorchers at the time, with a "country punk" sound, but with fireplug female singer Melora Zaner fronting the band a different energy and sound emerge. The song has a twangy vibe, especially on the harmony-laden bridge, but the pounding jungle rhythms of drummer Mark Medley and bassist Les Shields along with Michael Godsey's slashing guitar suggest Led Zeppelin or X. The lyrics are also ahead of their time, with a heady female-empowered perspective that sounds as contemporary today as 30 years ago.”
Doyle Davis co-owner, Grimey's Records written for Nashville Scene June 26, 2014
". . . a voice you can recognize as hers and hers alone. . . reminds me more than a little of Melora Zaner, the singer in the briefly legendary mid’80s Nashville proto-grunge band Raging Fire."
John Nova Lomax Houston Press April 2008
"Raging Fire released the dark, poetic Faith That Love Was Made Of, updating the sound of X and predicting the slow-to-ferocious dynamics of Nirvana. (At South by Southwest in Austin that year, a college DJ from Seattle found out I was from Nashville and pounded me with questions about Raging Fire — his favorite band,
Michael McCall Nashville Scene June 26, 2014
"FYI: Raging Fire scorches with gripping female vocals and crash and burn guitar. . . "
College Music Journal New Music Report June 14, 1985
"This band from Nashville sounds like a combination of Au Pairs and Hank Williams, especially relying on the former. Furthermore, Melora Zaner's lyrics evoke southern culture and literature . . . This could be called cowpunk, but it is considerably more dynamic than most of bands boozing their way through sets in L.A. . . . the focus is on Zaner's powerful vocals; honest, sexy and wildly emotional."
Scott Jackson Sound Choice Los Angeles Spring 1986
"Shoot, this is sharp-edged and catchy stuff with buckets of rapid shifts of tempo and dynamics . . .title track as cunning a couple of minutes as you're likely to hear."
Chet Howland Matter Chicago June 1986
The ep A Family Thing is one reason why I’d never get rid of my record player. That Pristine Records release has to be on the short list of all-time great Nashville records.
February 22, 2005
“'Faith' is not only an important record for Raging Fire, it could mean a great deal to the Nashville New Music scene. It stands to do well on nationwide college radio, given the band's success with their previous A Family Thing EP . . . a progressive band with very few ties to country could bring more attention to the Nashville's potential.”
Clark Parsons Vanderbilt Hustler December 5, 1986
"Raging Fire's record got the band so much attention that it was almost a case of too much too soon . . . they were ahead of the curve."
Robert K. Oermann The Tennessean
"Raging Fire's A Family Thing was a blistering moment in Nashville rock history. It was all over the college charts at the time and with good reason. It was fresh, cool, and rocked like a mother."
February 22, 2005
“The Tennessee band's music could be termed 'Nouveau-Kickass' –a successful combination of basic Nashville rooted rock and new wave that avoids the traps of hardcore, barre chord homogeneity.”
Tom Beckett Raleigh Spectator August 15, 1985
"Drawing their influences from s number of well respected sources (which include, I might add, a dash of X and the spirit of Buddy Holly), Raging Fire has created, in A Family Thing, a rare work emerging from an almost buried "Music City" rock world, a work that is both exciting and original! Other bands may talk a lot –Raging Fire is doing a lot."
Keith A. Gordon Nashville Intelligence Report May 1985
"Reader's poll winner – Best Unsigned Band"
CMJ New Music Report 1987
"A steamy image of everything rock & roll is supposed to be; keep your ears waxed and your eyes open for Raging Fire the next chance you get."
Jimmy Smith Cincinnatti Encore 1984
"Great white trash country/blues from Nashville. "A Family Thing," the song of the month, starts out with back porch acoustic guitar. Then it stands up and splinters that old rockin' chair."
The Rocket Seattle December 1985
"Raging Fire has the look and sound of modern young America."
Jay Orr Music Row 1986
"The charm and power of Raging Fire's live performance . . . a look at southern culture . . . has a sound that is hard to pigeonhole but terrific to listen to. . ."
Natalie Walton Tasty World Athens, Georgia November 1985
"The aura that Raging Fire presents is a mystical and inviting one, combining old fashioned roots with more surprising sounds such as jazz and hardcore. . ."
Steve Dubner North Carolina Spectator August 1985
"MOST WANTED . . . we're proud to present a band whose talents are deserving of something bigger and better. . ."
CMJ New Music Report January 29, 1988
"Raging Fire is a band with hard edged originals that explode stereotypes. . ."
Memphis Star October, 1986
But for those who like music from the repressed side of rock & roll's heart, here is some sonic relief."
Michael McCall Nashville Banner May 24, 1985
"Visiting a club in Indian Territory for the first time, Raging Fire won over many hearts and stirred up quite a yahooing shindig. Anticipating the band everyone in a state with cowboys and punk knows, Rank and File, Ragng Fire was the surprise of the night. Barefoot and ankleted Melora Zaner hushed the quickly filling basement with a balladic verse decided on moments before the set. Flashbacks of Patsy Cline swept across the room as Melora's beautiful voice surrendered over to the rest of the Rage. Michael Godsey's slide lead guitar and thumping bassist Lee Carr smashed through sets with Mark Medley's hardcore furyman drum spirit. They spunked through "Everything is Roses" and "A Family Thing" with only brief discussions between songs about Tennessee, Texans, and their EP. A cover of Three Dog NIght's "Never Been to Spain" had Okies of all sizes whooping and haying everytime the Oklahoma was sung,"
Creep Oklahoma City June 1986
"The moment they begin playing kicks off 45 minutes of pure joy that gives rock & roll its validity."
Rick Champion Nashville Intelligence Report July 1, 1984
Friday, June 12, 1987
Press kit clipping
College Music Jounral
New Music Report