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Firehose / Lowflows: The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93)
Album:Lowflows: The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93) Collection:General
Artist:Firehose Added:07/2012
Label:Sony Music 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2013-01-19 Pull Date:2013-03-24 
Week Ending:24 Mar3 Mar17 Feb10 Feb27 Jan
Airplays:11212

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"no way to say" 0002

Album Review
Grumpy Sean
Reviewed 2013-01-10 
Quick history lesson: fIREHOSE emerged from the (literal) wreckage of the Minutemen following the tragic death of singer/guitarist D. Boon in December 1985. Ed "fromohio" Crawford made his way to San Pedro, CA and pitched himself as a vocalist and guitar player; Mike Watt (bass, vox when noted) and George Hurley (drums) took him in and the band soon headed on the road. fIREHOSE released three LPs in four years for the SST label before jumping to a major label in 1990.

This 2xCD set compiles all of fIREHOSE's output for Columbia Records along with some previously unreleased live material. And despite having access to major label resources, these songs remain econo at their core -- quickly recorded, minimal studio trickery, honed by and designed for the live experience. It's less spastic than the Minutemen, more "rawk" with nods to folks like Meat Puppets, Giant Sand, and Calexico. The funk-jazz bass parts (and the majority of Disc 2) don't hold up as well as I had hoped. Most of these tracks are not new to KZSU, but the recordings have been cleaned up a bit and the live material is tremendous.

Disc 1
FCCs: Tracks 2, 9, 10, 20, 21, 22, 25

"Flyin' The Flannel" (1991)
1. * med(+), simple groover to warm things up
2. med, FCC ("fuckin' econo")
3. med(+), smooth rocker with walking bass.
4. * dn, Watt vox, mellow loping Daniel Johnston cover
5. varies, straight-ahead rocker
6. med(-), slightly noodly guitar solo
7. * med+, strong grind/groove
8. dn, moody
9. med(+), FCC ("shit" and "fuck it")
10. med+, FCC ("fuckin'"), hard punk/funk
11. spare and slightly jazzy
12. free, Watt's vocals are barely comprehensible; Dave Alvin = founder of the Blasters, many roots/country rock solo releases
13. up / varies, instrumental
14. med, another noodly solo over jazz/funk bass
15. med-, spoken (rather than sung) vox and generic open jazzy sound
16. * dn+, "painting a picture" kind of lyrics

"A Matter of Degrees - Original Soundtrack" (1991)
17. dn/varies, very country-rock / Crazy Horse.

18. med(+), previously unreleased, largely identical to #1 but no vox / more guitar, would make a decent music bed for station promos / "active" underwriting spots.

Live Totem Pole EP (recorded at Palomino Club, Hollywood, CA, Aug. 1991; released 1992)
19. med+, rollicking, Blue Oyster Cult cover, also performed by the Minutemen
20. med(-), FCC ("fuckin") and possibly offensive, Public Enemy cover
21. FCC ("hope I don't fuck it up") in spoken intro, Butthole Surfers cover
22. FCC (duh - song title is the chorus), Superchunk cover
23. med+, standard raucous stuff, long fade out, original version on "fROMOHIO" (third LP, 1989)
24. * med(+), well-constructed Wire cover
25. med(-), open jazz/funk with Watt vox, original version on "If'n" (second LP, 1987) FCC ("don't throw shit") after song ends

Disc 2
FCCs: Tracks 1, 7, 12, maybe 20

"Mr. Machinery Operator" (1993)
1. med(-), FCC ("fuck" multiple times), a little flat, Watt vox
2. med, crunchy standard issue rock
3. med/varies, funk bass, disconnected treble-y guitar, Watt and Ed trade vox, long fade out
4. opens hot, then dn with late build, mostly mellow rock, perhaps ballad-ish
5. med-, instrumental interlude
6. med with Watt's a capella dropouts, noodly
7. med+, FCC ("fuckin" multiple times), otherwise best so far on this disc...
8. dn, meandering, Watt vox, sounds like Watt and Ed weren't even in the same room
9. med(+), countryish driving song
10. med(+), Hurley drum solo
11. dn -> up -> dn, sparse sad croon with freakout bridge
12. med-, FCC ("fuck" multiple times), guest female vox
13. up, instrumental but interspersed with crowd footage from "Rodney King" LA riots (started on April 29, 1992)
14. * med-, sparse with Watt vox more spoken than sung

15. * med, same as #2 but no vox (originally on "Genrecide: A Compilation" (1993))

16. * opens hot, then dn -- improves on #4 simply by being 90 seconds shorter (originally on "Witness" promotional single (1993))

Previously Unreleased (live studio recordings for "Columbia Records Radio Hour," March 1993)
17. * same as #13 but no crowd footage and fewer slow-downs, ends with studio applause
18. * more thundering, sped-up version of #6, ends with studio applause
19. original is Disc 1 Track 13, this version is faster, no applause at end
20. med/varies, faster and mostly cleaned up version of #1, still FCC? ("folks" slurred down to "fux")

Track Listing
1.Down With The Bass [Album Version] 23.What Gets Heard [Live Version]
2.Up Finnegan's Ladder [Album Version] 24.Mannequin [Live Version]
3.Can't Believe [Album Version] 25.Makin' The Freeway [Live Version]
4.Walking The Cow [Album Version] 26.Formal Introduction [Album Version]
5.Flyin' The Flannel [Album Version] 27.Blaze [Album Version]
6.Epoxy For Example [Album Version] 28.Herded Into Pools [Album Version]
7.O'er The Town Of Pedro [Album Version] 29.Witness [Album Version]
8.Too Long [Album Version] 30.Number Seven [Album Version]
9.The First Cuss [Album Version] 31.Powerful Hankerin' [Album Version]
10.Anti-Misogyny Maneuver [Album Version] 32.Rocket Sled/Fuel Tank [Album Version]
11.Toolin' [Album Version] 33.Quicksand [Album Version]
12.Song For Dave Alvin [Album Version] 34.Disciples Of The 3-Way [Album Version]
13.Tien An Man Dream Again [Album Version] 35.More Famous Quotes [Album Version]
14.Lost Colors [Album Version] 36.Sincerely [Album Version]
15.Towin' The Line [Album Version] 37.Hell-Hole [Album Version]
16.Losers, Boozers, & Heroes [Album Version] 38.4.29.92 [Album Version]
17.Max And Wells [Album Version] 39.The Cliffs Thrown Down [Album Version]
18.Down With The Bass [Instrumental Version] 40.Blaze [Instrumental Version]
19.The Red And The Black [Live Version] 41.Witness [Mersh Again Edit]
20.Sophisticated Bitch [Live Version] 42.4.29.92 [Live Version]
21.Revolution Pt. 2 [Live Version] 43.Powerful Hankerin' [Live Version]
22.Slack Motherfucker [Live Version] 44.Tien An Man Dream Again [Live Version]
 45.Formal Introduction [Live Version]