Once again, appropos of nothing, here's another one of these. This doesn't come from ILM either, but rather it's a review I wrote for something that now eludes me. I later posted it on Julian Cope's excellent site ,Head Heritage , which is an amazing resource for criminally arcane music. I love this band, and this record, dearly....and the review is a little overwritten as a result (hey, at least I'm acknowledging it this time, eh?), so please excuse the hyperbole. Firewater are on a bit of hiatus at the moment, as their fearless leader, Tod [A] is abroad teaching English as a second language to the Siamese. Anyway, run out to yer local music merchant and buy this disc.
Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire
Having spent a goodly portion of the early `90's irresponsibly ravaging my ears via the serrated audio squal of Brooklyn's mighty Cop Shoot Cop (the initial sonic outpourings of whom meshed with the workings of the inner ear as does the rusty screwdriver to spinning bicycle spokes), I found myself virtually weeping bitter, caustic tears upon hearing of said "urban guerilla industropigfuck noise squad"'s inevitable, acrimonious and messy implosion in `95. Cop mainman Tod [A] (nee Tod Ashley) had jumped ship, having become bored by C$C's rigid adherence to monochromatic malice. In my mouring, I halfheartedly consoled myself with the anaemic drivel of lesser bands whose pathetic attempts to match the scowling black-hearted sturm und drang of the Cop fell like used, runny, shredded condoms in the shadow of the definite article. I badgered former band members, insiders, drinking buddies, roadies and associates as to when (or even if) another chapter would be written, and who would be in the cast of characters. Rumors came and went like johns through a brothel. Having sucked up to the industry like the dutiful corporate cog I would later (d)evolve into, I managed to sweet-talk my way into the good, gullible graces of a pouty publicity gal who dangled promises of "Tod [A]shley's new post-C$C project" before me like a can of frosty grape soda infront of a parched diabetic. Just when I was beginning to give up hope and entertain thoughts of re-enlisting in the Kiss army, a package from hitherto obscure indie label JetSet arrived at my door.
Hungrily shredding open the plain brown wrapper, I was confronted with an image of our supposedly would-be saviour, smokin' a butt and grasping one of the peoples' beers. So far so good. Racing to my Mickey Mouse Close-&-Play, slappin' on the disc, ready to kick out the jams like an undead Rob Tyner, I readied myself and started pouring over the liner notes to discover....what's this?? ....bazouki?......djembe?........ACCORDION????!??? Before I could realign my narrow musical prejudices, "Some Strange Reaction" broke through my long-suffering woofers & tweeters and vanquished my momentary doubts. Wading deeper into the album, however, it was clear that this was no workaday Cop Shoot Cop soundalike. There would be no vitriolic call for urban upheval here. The guns had been holstered, the soapbox replaced with a bar stool and the brass-knuckles had been hocked for beer money, but somehow it still kicked the snots out of everything. This was an album that marched the perma-frownin' 'No Wave'ers out of the East Village scenester bars and down to the dance halls of Lower East Side's ethnic ghost town, where mohawks and black leather get swapped for Hasidic finery. How fitting that it came in a triagular sleeve, as it would not slip meekly and comfortably in with the rest of my cd collection. Get Off the Cross, We Need The Wood for the Fire is a phoenix of an album that flattens the competion.