FIRESTARTER: First Album: LP FIRESTARTER: Livin’ on the Heat: LP

After Teengenerate, Sammy and Fink started The Raydios. Fifi went on to form The Tweezers. Both became staples of Japanese power pop. Firestarter reunited these factions and crated yet another legendary band. The Firestarter records didn’t make it much out of Japan. Secret Mission has reissued these two classic powerpop slabs. The First Album contains many mid-tempo rockers like “You’re Too Late” and “The Last Minute”: signature tunes utilizing the band’s melodic guitar lines framed with overdriven guitars. The choruses are catchy with great harmonizing. Side one ends with an excellent cover of Eddie And The Hot Rods’ “Do Anything You Wanna Do.” Livin’ on the Heat has more of the same, including their best-known song “Radios Are Dead.” The speed fluctuates a bit on songs like “Flying Guillotine” and “Johnny Moped Was Right.” Speed, loud guitar, and ’80s powerpop sensibilities is the standard of a cache of bands from Japan. At the center of the storm are the revolving members of Firestarter. These albums are essential for fans thereof. –Billups Allen (Secret Mission, secretmissionrecords.com)