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FIREHOUSE / CATEGORY 5
PONY CANYON JAPAN PCCY-01276
OVERALL: 61%
Produced by: Firehouse
  1. Can't Stop The Pain
  2. Acid Rain
  3. Bringing Me Down
  4. Dream
  5. Get Ready
  6. If It Changes
  7. The Day, The Week And The Weather
  8. The Nights Were Young
  9. Have Mercy
  10. I'd Do Anything
  11. Arrow Through My Heart
  12. Life Goes On
Firehouse return with the absence of a worldwide record deal, this album through their Japanese label Pony Canyon and also through their web site.
Straight up the first track is a mid pacer, hinting that this is going to be a more laid back and mellower Firehouse than ever.
Can't Stop The Pain opens and is a nice moody mid paced rock ballad. A hint of a great guitar solo, but it doesn't last long enough.
Acid Rain has a cool guitar intro, sounds pretty live and raw, but again instead of firing up, stays on a mid paced rock ballad course. Great melodic chorus though.
Bringing Me Down is more laid back again. This time it's an acoustic driven pop rocker. A more laid back Down Bring Me Down?
Dream is the first ballad proper. Big anthem sort of thing that's starts off slowly...oh, but then doesn't go anywhere.
Get Ready has a promising funky guitar intro and rocks out a little towards the end.
If It Changes is a cool mid tempo rocker, nice chunky guitar sound in there and a more melodic chorus that is pretty catchy.
The Day, The Week And The Weather is another acoustic pop song that stays mellow throughout without being a ballad as such.
The Nights Were Young is a mid paced pop rock anthem. Ok, but lacks grunt and that anthem quality.
Have Mercy is a moody rocker that stands out as one of the more original songs on the album and takes to my liking. Could have been a lot heavier though!
I'd Do Anything is an acoustic pop ballad. A little country?
Arrow Through My Heart is another of the above. No country.
Life Goes On is a funky pop rocker. Average.
well the album is way too soft, but I was prepared to let that slide, but the songs on the second half of the record are just not strong enough and are too much of a muchness.
The sound and production is of course rich and as good as any big label record. The songs are just not there. It was self-produced which is admirable for the sound, but not for the selection of songs. A third party would have been handy.
The record starts off OK, but just becomes boring in the end. Better off sticking to their first couple of albums.
PRODUCTION: 77%SONGS: 58%VIBE: 60%ATTITUDE: 63%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Firehouse fans only


31/03/04: Richard - vonruhnstedt@excite.com
Rating: 72
I give this Firehouse album a '72' rating just to keep with the rating system that this is indeed a GOOD album -from a great band! The shame here is that NOW looking at O2 & the most recent Primetime, what happened here in 1998 with Category 5? I will honestly admit disappointment with this album overall -to this day, but it does offer all true Firehouse fans a few brilliant tunes: Can't Stop The Pain, Acid Rain, Bringing Me Down, and The Nights Were Young. AS for the BAD - Dream is easily the worse ballad ever put to recording (that we are aware of anyway...), comparitive with the awesome talents on past "When I Look Into Your Eyes", "I Live My Life For You" and most recent "Let Go" ballads. The last half of the album is very weak with the biggest question to us all coming at the end "What is with the deal with the final track '?'".
Enough bashing, Firehouse is one of my favorite bands, though Category 5 is the last album I would refer a new listener of theirs' to. Update to Primetime 2003!!!

21/02/03: Big Mike - bigmike@hotmail.com
Rating: 45
Definitely not Firehouse of old but some of the song writing is up to scratch. Softer sounding and a little experimental in places, Category 5 is more like category 1 or 2 as suggested above. Does have some value.

10/11/01: Lazarus Contra - pelivor@hotmail.com
Rating: 15
Definitely my least favorite of the Firehouse releases. Compared to their Self-Titled and "Hold Your Fire" debut releases, this album lacked punch. And what about the hidden bonus track on the USA release? Definitely a waste of 6 or 7 minutes in my opinion, I don't even think you can call that music! I'm not sure if it was they're intention to change to a acoustic ballad-driven style or what, but Catagory 5 just wasn't good enough, not even to collect dust. Anywho, loyal fans of Firehouse's first and second albums would be better off purchasing their most recent release "O2" over this one.

02/06/01: Morgaus - Morgausoriginalis@hotmail.com88
Rating: 88
Defininately a mixed bag. With songs coming from all directions this time, instead of the usual Snare/Leverty duo, the tone runs the gammut. While "Can't stop..." stems from actual losses it seems to be the weakest track on the album; repetitive, disconnected and hollow as if they really weren't together for this final album effort as a group... maybe that's how they were feeling after a year of tough personal losses. "Acid Rain" comes from a distant perspective and (I feel) categorizes the left-arm of the teen-generation a little too neatly...Poetic and a little Arch, it's lacking any real connection to the subject. "Bringing me Down"... Well, each of the albums has one track I just can't listen to. This is it here. Fortunately "Dream", with its slippery Moebius guitar and potent sentiment, is easily the best track on the album. A real connection happened here involving a new writing trio (including a pair of non-band writers). "Get ready" exhibits soundtrack-quality traits in its architecture, with a lush deep CJ on vocals that holds the song on an even keel. Rather than a maelstrom it's just a little bit sultry, as if the storm just passed you by. "If it Changes" is simply neo-exotic...mystical undertones that really tap into the new east/west mentality. A fusion of mid-east melody and western mindset make a fine mesh. As the second track offered by the Richardson-Rogers-Effler trio "The Day, the Week..." pulls you back to the band's roots with a look at life through a distinctly Southern perspective and creates a tasty audio shift that evinces the first of this record's several surprises. "The Nights were Young" disrupts the flow a little as the content shifts from a comfortable depth to shallow philosophising about lost youth. If anything, this track is distinctly American and a little passe'; it doesn't fit the space, offering a weak lead into "Have Mercy" which is for the most part musically sound but lyrically forced. Follow this with the stately waltz "I'd do anything..." and you can understand why new listeners are lost. I found it ballsy and refreshing. These men all have exceptional talent as musicians and vocalists; they are also true Southern gentlemen and this song is really a delight to listen to if you can pull yourself out of the resonance of the prior track. "Arrow..." is the third track spun by Perry's writing team and feels particularly good here. It's a solid little ballad uniting hindsight with foresight but real Rock fans won't get it. Put it on a Country station, however, and you've got yourself a hit. Works for me because I'm pretty supple. Track 12&13 (I tag it that way because it's really one song with a long intermezzo) snapped me to attention. The "Life Goes On" portion is a steady pumper that gives some sage advice in an entertaining package, and if you just happen to be a little slow switching CDs you're in for a treat. You've never heard FireHouse sound like this before with Reznoresque industrial samplings laced through a crunching bottom end and a power-chant of vocals that'll knock tiles off your roof. Potent, Sexual, a thundering push into relief. The charm is that there is no anger here... simply Fire, but then that's what you bought it for isn't it?

23/09/00: shawn pelata - spelata@maitland-smith.com
Rating: 95
i think "category 5" is a very good album. no, it's not what you would expect from firehouse...but since when is that a bad thing? i think it's an album of good to very good rock songs. strong melodies, good guitar work, and very good production. maybe a little light on the "rockers", but i wouldn't call that a complaint. more of an observation. good, solid album from a very talented band. but what is that weird "hidden track" all about?? :)

26/11/99: Gordon Schomer - gschomer@redriverok.com
Rating: 100
Category 5 is a one terrific cd! I have always been a big fan of Firehouse and although this is not as hard rock as some of their other albums it is more melodic and polished. The vocals seem to really stand out more due to the softer more acoustic brilliance of this cd. Definitely a must buy for melodic rock lovers. This is probably their best overall cd in my opinion.

02/11/99: JACE - JPAWLAK@DMXSYS.COM
Rating: 75
I like Firehouse very much. And I think I'm probably the only fan who thinks "Firehouse 3" was their most solid record. Anyway... for what it's worth I saw them in concert a few months ago and they were a great live band. EVERYBODY SINGS!! And the bass player's got a helluva voice himself. After the show they hung around and signed autographs... they were very polite and gracious... C.J. was especially talkative. (Am I the only one who thinks C.J. looks like Dana Carvey???) Oh yeah, the record... well... the record certainly isn't their best but I'm happy that they're still making records AT ALL!! I mean I'd rather they put out this mediocre release rather than vanish altogether. That aside, it's not a BAD album it's just a little bland at times. I know everyone likes "The day, the month, the weather, the week" or whatever it is but it truly kinda bores me. I don't wanna step on anyone's toes I'm just giving my opinion. However, I love "Can't Stop The Pain", "Get Ready For The Rain", "The Nights Were Young", "Have Mercy", and, of course, "Dream". Hey... what the fuck is with that God awful bonus track. When that came on I was embarrased that that crap was coming out of my speakers!!! Anyway... that aside it's a good record. The boys gave it a good go. I hope to hear from them again soon and if they ever come to your town... GO!!

21/04/99: Jon - JTShilo111@aol.com
Rating: 75
I've been a HUGE Firehouse fan from the beginning. I've had Cat 5 since around Christmas and here's my honest opinion. It's my least favorite. That however doesn't mean it doesn't rock a lot more than some of the other crap clogging up the airwaves, it just means I miss the power behind hits like "All She Wrote", "Reach For The Sky", and "Tryin' To Make A Livin'". Even the ballads lost a little strength but "The Day, The Week, The Weather" is my favorite. There are many good tunes on here but it left me aching for more! The hidden track could have been omitted too... I get angry enough looking at people Like Marilyn Manson, that song always brings that sort of image to mind. I'd say get it if you haven't and are a true Firehouse fan, otherwise borrow it and che i

09/03/99: Chavo - chavojr@98rockmail.com
Rating: 90
Excellent CD. The hidden track after "Life Goes On" ROCKS !!! Some of the songs sound a little country, but I feel that country is sounding more melodic. I feel in America, the hidden track could actually get some air time.

Top 3 CD's of 1998:
1. "Eye of the Storm" by the Storm
2. "A Letter From Death Row" by Bret Michaels (Poison)
3. "Category 5" by Firehouse

05/03/99: Don - dosborn@beol.net
Rating: 90
I was never a big fan of Firehouse until I got to see them live last summer. After their set I went out and purchased Category 5. I absolutely love it. I never considered Firehouse to be a "hard" band. They've always been soft in my book. But that's where they shine.

My Top 3 CD's of '98

Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Firehouse - Category 5
Saxon - Unleashed The Bet

02/03/99: Bill - Collingwood@poboxes.com
Rating: 85
I am a big Firehouse fan and they are my favourite band. I think that they have gone a touch softer, but the music is still good.
I'm sure they will bring out a heavy CD next time. It doesn't matter to me if they continue to do the same stuff or they go back to
their early style. I thought the ballads on this album weren't as good as past CD's.
I still love it ou

26/01/99: yoppy - yoppyt@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
i love firehouse verymuch with their songs.
my very fave songs are "can't stop the pain" and "love don't care"
they.re the best band i've ever seen.
bill is my favorite guitarist. he is the best for me
make some more hard songs...pp

19/01/99: Curry Compeaux - sevendoorshotel@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
I've been a Firehouse fan ever sense I heard "Don't Treat Me Bad". That was the first Firehouse song I heard. This album just shows me that Firehouse will never change. This band is my favorite. Category 5 is one of the best albums to come out in 98. I have to say the best song on the album is "Drea.

03/01/99: Stefan Ritter - shake66@net-con.net
Rating: 97
I never really was into FIREHOUSE. I loved "Reach for the sky", "She wrote on a letter"...but didn"t like the rest.. But this CD has BLOWN ME AWAY!

Everbody who says this CD is too soft, should take another listen to it! I normally listen to much harder music, but this stuff is absolutely great! My best 3 CD"s of 1998:

1. FIREHOUSE - Category 5
2. PINK CREAM 69 - Electrified
3. ANTHRAX - Volume 8: The Threat is real

30/12/98: Brad Hutchinson - undertow@idirect.com
Rating: 72
Well, sounds like Firehouse went for a combination of Good Acoustics and their previous efforts on this one, Ctaegory 5.
The songs are fairly well-crafted, but a couple really lack in the chorus (ie. Get Ready) and don"t fit the song
properly.My 2 biggest complaints are that the mix was a bit off, with the guitars mixed a bit too far back and
the acoustics and clean guitar at times mixed too much in the foreground.If the guitars were heavied up more
like I"m sure they are when played live, these songs would rock more.Secondly, there"s too many balladesque
tunes on here, not enough pure rockin" numbers!I count about 4 ballads, or close to a ballad anyways.I agree
with the review above that there are some tracks on here that should not have been included on this cd, certainly
not their best work.Also, odd to put a track like "Have Mercy" on here among songs that are almost new country,
like "I"d Do Anything".Best track on here:Can"t Stop The Pain/Acid Rain (tie).My last thought is that the track listing was not great either.
I think that "Can"t Stop The Pain" is not the best lead-off track for a cd, better for the 2nd song.Which one then, you may ask?
Beats me.Summary:Not bad, could"ve been better!

12/12/98: Roland Schwend - eureka@icanect.com
Rating: 16
What happenend to this great Band??? After seeing them already twice this year, I was wondering why they"re only playing one new song live, now it"s obvious. The songs are too mellow, no more killer tunes and not one great ballad. Only the tune "Acid Rain" would have been on one of their first 2 albums. This album isn"t even a category 1 storm; Bill crunch up your guitar and you"ll get a worldwide deal again.

10/12/98: Matt - mmauldin@mail.snider.net
Rating: 90
I LOVE this cd. And for all of you "heavy" people (I am one of you), listen to the secret track after Life Goes On. Perry sings it and it will rock you, HARD.

09/12/98: robin - roblove11@aol.com
Rating: 10
firehouse"s second cd was goodbye-kick ass rock and intense balladry-they went downhill from there.category 5 shows that these guys just don"t have it anymore or are too lazy to make the effort to put out the music that actually made people know who firehouse are-i good track-acid rain

09/12/98: Big M - dagger97@earthlink.net
Rating: 95
Alot of people criticize this CD for being too soft. Well, that is why I listen to Firehouse. If I want heavy, I will listen to Motley Crue or something along those lines. With an awesome voice like CJ"s, I feel singing the harder tunes is a waste of talent! There is not a weak song on this CD and is easily the best effort of their career!


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