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Firewater - Profile

  by Mark Rowland

published: 27 / 1 / 2002

Firewater - Profile


Firewater features members of the Jesus Lizard, Cop Shoot Cop, Foetus, Soul Coughing, and Laughing Hyenas. With both the bands' two albums to date out for the first time in Britain, Mark Rowland profiles this exciting new American group

Firewater are something of a super-group, a band consisting of members of the Jesus Lizard, Cop Shoot Cop, Foetus, Soul Coughing, and Laughing Hyenas, as well as innumerable guests. They've re-released their second album 'The Ponzi Scheme" to coincide with the release of the newy 'Psychopharmacology', the first time the album has been released in Europe, and what a wonderful move that was, for both them and us. The sound of Firewater is a difficult one to describe, but "the Pogues and Tom Waits being dragged kicking and screaming through the Grunge era by their ears' wouldn't be far off. Firewater take in so many different influences it's unbelievable: a bit of country here, a bit of Swing there, a bit of blues there, you could go on (almost) forever. This mixture of sounds sometimes comes out reminiscent of Beck and especially Eels, but overall, this is Firewater's sound, and takes from a lot of old styles yet still comes out sounding very modern. This eclectic sound features more prominently on "The Ponzi Scheme'" which features everything from indie rock to gospel to Russian folk music. Tracks like'Green Light' and 'Caroline'" are superb culminations of the sounds, and come across slightly Eels-esque, while' So Long, Superman' sounds like a rougher, more organic version of 'Tainted Love'" by Soft Cell. Just as terrific is its packaging, the case being made of tin. 'Psychopharmacology" is a much more focused effort, and also a darker one, the lyrics being concerned mainly with the cheery subject of death. The best thing going for Firewater is they clearly focus on the song before building it up with their mixtures of styles, and on 'Psychopharmacology', its the songwriting that's improved, whether it's the organ-led opener 'Woke Up Down', the Eastern tinged 'Fell off the Face of the Earth', or the grunge 'n' roll of 'Get out of my Head. Fans of eclectic Alt-rock artists like Eels or Beck, fans of the Pogues and Tom Waits, or just fans of a good tune, would be wise to look into this band. 'The Ponzi Scheme', is a great record, but with 'Psychopharmacology', we have a contender for indie album of the year.

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Firewater - Profile

Firewater - Profile

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Interview (2002)
Firewater - Interview
Something of an American punk rock super group, Firewater features members of the Jesus Lizard, Soul Coughing, Laughing Hyenas, and Foetus. Frontman Tod A talks to Mark Rowland about the band's two albums 'Psychopharmacology' and 'The Ponzi Scheme'

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