Category: Firehose

Firehose – Fromohio

ARTIST: Firehose 220px-FROMOHIO

TITLE: Fromohio

YEAR RELEASED: 1989

CHART ACTION: None.

SINGLES: Time With You

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: What Gets Heard

LINEUP: Ed Crawford, Mike Watt, George Hurley. Kira Roessler played and sung too.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A record much like their previous, except a couple of solo spots for George Hurley.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Unlike If’n, Fromohio (taken from Ed Crawford’s sometime nom-de-band – Ed Fromohio) isn’t a leap forward, more like a retrenchment towards what worked previously. That’s OK, and some of the songs were pretty good (“What Gets Heard”, “Time With You”), but others seemed just repeated themes from their previous records.

They also had two drummer showcases, and a guitar exercise. Those would be OK had not the other material been as strong as the previous album – but it really wasn’t.

All in all, it seemed like Firehose was marking time here. A better record than most of their contemporaries, but still marking time.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Watt started calling his bass “Thunder Broom”. Plus, the title track from the previous album is on this one.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE B: I didn’t think it was as good as any of their other SST records.

Firehose – If’n

ARTIST: Firehose 220px-Ifn_Firehose_Album_cover

TITLE: If’n

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: None.

SINGLES: Sometimes

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: For the Singer of REM

LINEUP: Ed Crawford, Mike Watt, George Hurley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A coalescence of the band strengths. This has the playfulness of the Minutemen, but definitely is its own thing.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a tentative first record, Ed Crawford fits in with his bandmates and turns out an excellent album with hardly any shadow of D. Boon in it.

Crawford’s guitar now fits in fully with Watt and Hurley, and allows Crawford’s natural swing and phrasing to come through, and it opens up a lot of possibilities to the trip. They branch out into different modes and motifs seamlessly here. Crawford’s voice is more confident, and Watt’s around to growl a bit too.

This record also contains one of the all-timers of the 80’s “For the Singer of REM”. The lyrics send up and tribute Michael Stipe, and the guitar parts from Crawford are definitely Peter Buck-ian. That track is where Firehose all comes together.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album cover shows a picture of Husker Du, who recently left their record company, SST.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE A: A much better and more cohesive effort, with an all-timer in “For the Singer of REM”.

Firehose – Ragin’ Full-On

ARTIST: Firehose 220px-Ragin',fullon

TITLE: Ragin’ Full-On

YEAR RELEASED: 1986

CHART ACTION: None.

SINGLES: Nope

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Brave Captain

LINEUP: Ed Crawford, Mike Watt, George Hurley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Surprise! Watt and Hurley, grieving after D. Boon’s death and the loss of the Minutemen because of it, regroup with Minutemen fan Ed Crawford and form Firehose.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: NOTE: NOT FIREHOUSE.

From seemingly out of nowhere (at least to those not plugged into the West Coast punk scene) came Firehose, which gathered Mike Watt and George Hurley along with Minuteman fan-boy / guitarist Ed Crawford (from Ohio).

This, their first effort, sounds a bit tentative since the trio was just learning to work together. Watt and Hurley knew each other, but had to figure out how to play with Crawford, who was a bit more conventional than D. Boon, though he tried to be a bit outside.

That was one of the issues – Crawford tried too much to be in the spirit of D. Boon’s guitar work and that was not his strength. He did work well on some tracks, especially his tracks like “Brave Captain”, “The Candle and the Flame”, and “Choose Any Memory”.  The ones that Watt wrote (or-cowrote with his wife Kira Roessler) he struggled a bit with.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: THIS ISN’T FIREHOUSE.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE B: For a band just coming together after a tragedy, it’s surprisingly good, but there was room for improvement.