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"Flyin' the Flannel"

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Album Review

It was a pretty big deal in the underground rock community when fIREHOSE made the jump from an independent record label to a major one (Columbia) with their fourth full-length record, 1991's Flyin' the Flannel. But fans shouldn't have worried; the trio didn't change its sound to fit its new label, although the songwriting did become more succinct, which only improved the album's outstanding 16 tracks (resulting in fIREHOSE's finest album). The album-opening anthem, "Down With the Bass," is a Mike Watt tribute to his beloved four-string, while the band rocks out throughout the album: "Up Finnegan's Ladder," "Can't Believe," the title track, "O'er the Town of Pedro," "The First Cuss," "Anti-Misogyny Maneuver," and "Town' the Line" are all standouts. Like all fIREHOSE albums, Flyin' the Flannel includes its share of soothing moments, such as "Toolin'," "Walking the Cow," the downtrodden album closer "Losers, Boozers, and Heroes," and perhaps the best song on the album, the swirling jazz of "Epoxy, for Example." Flyin' the Flannel is one of the great lost rock gems of the '90s. Super highly recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in San Pedro, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

In 1985, after D Boon's tragic death at age 27 signalled the end of the Minutemen, bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley threw in their lot with then-22-year-old former Ohio State University student, guitar player, and Minutemen fanatic Ed Crawford to form fIREHOSE. Taking their group name from a line in Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," fIREHOSE continued in the Minutemen tradition of breathtaking musicianship combined with caustic lyrical fusillades inspired by the writing of the...
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"Flyin' the Flannel", Firehose
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