"Shimmer" broke Fuel. The '98 single was from their debut album "Sunburn." A two-year tour schedule with 400-plus shows pushed the CD past the million sales mark.
Based in Pennsylvania, Fuel produced two indie EPs, "Hazelton" and "Porcelain." They sold well and drew the attention of Epic Records. Following the "Sunburn" sessions drummer Kevin Miller joined.
"Something Like Human" released in September '00, had the mid tempo "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)," written by Bell (who co-produced the album with Ben Grosse) and "Innocent." However, the hard charging opening track "Last Time," powered by slashing guitars, was the one that stood out. "Natural Selection" was released in September of '03 and demonstrated the group's songwriting strengths.
The next year, things seemed to unravel. Disagreements with Miller, which occasionally went public, got him kicked out. In '06, Scallions decided to leave. According to the band's web site it was a friendly parting. "We will all miss him and we wish him the best," wrote Bell. Later, Scallions stated he left Fuel because the group had become "a one-man show" run by Bell. "Growing up and being a fan of music (and) creativity, you wanna be a part of things, you wanna actually feel like you are in a band," said the singer. "It just wasn't feeling like that anymore." Scallions then worked with ex-Fuel drummer Jonathan Mover and the groups Circus Diablo and Riders On The Storm.
When a bands loses their lead singer there are really only two choices - break up or find a new one. The latter can be particularly dicey. The new singer often has huge shoes to fill. So why not get one that has some name recognition? Good idea.
The FOX-TV singing competition American Idol had become a national obsession. In recent years at least one of the finalists had a definite and often credible Rock leaning. In '06, it was Chris Daughtry. His rendition of "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" caught the attention of Bell and Abercrombie. The performance also rekindled interest in Fuel songs. Once Daughtry got bounced from the competition (as every Rocker eventually does) Bell and Abercrombie publicly asked Daughtry to join. Surprisingly, Daughtry turned them down preferring to front his own group (Daughtry) - which worked out well for him - at least in the short term. So it was back to the drawing board for Bell and Abercrombie.
They had better luck with Tommy Stewart (formerly with Godsmack) who signed on as Miller's replacement. The group entered the studio and began work on their fourth studio effort, "Angels & Devils." They also got percussion help from Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) and John Freese (A Perfect Circle). In the spring, '07, the group announced their album was finished and that Alaska native Toryn Green (a vet of the So-Cal group Something To Burn) was their vocalist.
Fuel's "Angels & Devils, with "Wasted Time" and "Gone," which became official theme song of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Vengeance 2007, rolled out in August.
A taste of STP here, a touch of Nirvana there - and so what? Since Rock 'n' Roll's first day, the genre "borrowed" heavily from neighboring styles and Fuel has picked up its share of influences. But it's the end result that counts and Fuel ignites their debut "Sunburn." The songs cover struggles, relationships and frustrations. Their follow-up "Something Like Human" Rocks harder.
"Natural Selection" has the searing tracks "These Things," "Won't Back Down" and "Days With You." Driven by Scallions' "down in the gutter" vocals theses songs will please any Fuel fan. However, the group takes a melodic turn, while still maintaining a fervent energy, on "Down Inside Of You," "Falls On Me" and "Die Like This."
When a group releases their first album with a new vocalist the natural tendency is to compare the current frontman with his (or her) predecessor. Analyzing the Green/Scallions match-up might eventually happen but a more interesting course is measuring Green against the man who was offered the Fuel gig first, Chris Daughtry. Not only are there marked similarities between the two, Fuel, on "Angels & Devils," covers the same turf as Daughtry (the group), albeit with a tougher and more dense sound. Of course, it's actually the other way around. Fuel was well down that road long before (Chris) Daughtry had even thought about auditioning for American Idol.
"Angels & Devils" is dominated by muscular ballads which play to Green's expressive vocals. The songs are propelled by Bell's intense yet agile and surprisingly melodic guitar. "Wasted Time" and "Gone" garnered immediate attention but the set's pinnacle is "Scars In The Making."