After the untimely death of D. Boon in 1985, Minutemen bandmates George Hurley and Mike Watt decided to call it quits and would've packed it up if it weren't for guitarist and fan Ed Fromohio. Out of the ashes of the Minutemen's unfortunate demise rose fIREHOSE.

I can tell you this right now: fIREHOSE is not the Minutemen. Even though they contained two of the same members, they were two completely seperate musical entities. fIREHOSE was a considerable step down in every aspect; the political messages of D. Boon's abstract songwriting had all but vanished, Mike Watt toned his funk bass attack down substantially, and Hurley, for the most part, relinquished his offbeat, hyperactive drumming. fIREHOSE removed the previous band's funk edge almost entirely and replaced it with straight-up rock elements.

Almost every song on this album is good for one reason or another. "Riddle of the Eighties", "In My Mind", and "Liberty for Our Friend" are all top cuts with melodic, nostalgia inducing hooks and lyrics. "What Gets Heard" introduces the listener to Mike Watt, who lays down an excellent bassline that's so typical of him, and takes over on vocal duty. George Hurley has his moments of glory on two pure drum solos, "Let the Drummer Have Some" and "'nuf That Shit, George". The rest of the album relies mainly on Ed's upbeat songwriting and pleasing guitar riffage.

fIREHOSE's simple songs about life in general are good listening. Composed of three excellent musicians, the band manages to stay away from any overtly political messages or statements and instead simply concentrates on making consistently good music. That's what it's all about anyway, isn't it?


Buy It

1. Riddle of the Eighties
2. In My Mind
3. Whisperin' While Hollerin'
4. Vastopol
5. Mas Cojones
6. What Gets Heard
7. Let the Drummer Have Some
8. Liberty for Our Friend
9. Time With You
10. If'n
11. Some Things
12. Understanding
13. 'nuf That Shit, George
14. Softest Hammer

Written by: Tosh

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