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lowFLOWs - The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93)

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Album Review

Released at the time the band announced a series of reunion shows for the first time after nearly two decades apart, Low Flows is a convenient enough summary with a couple of bonuses of the curious fIREHOSE, at least when it came to their concluding efforts on a major label. In a weird way, the band perhaps lucked out by being signed before Nirvana's success changed band and label expectations in general; listening to both Flyin' the Flannel and Mr. Machinery Operator from a distance shows them to be just as spikily independent — at least sonically — as their first SST releases were. Of the non-album tracks on both discs, the most notable by default are the cuts on the Live Totem Pole release that originally followed Flyin' the Flannel — a concert EP, it had two originals plus an impressive range of five cover versions, going from Minutemen live standard "The Red and the Black" via Blue Öyster Cult to Public Enemy's "Sophisticated Bitch," to then-recent underground anthem "Slack M**********r," one of Superchunk's earliest attention getters. Beyond that, it's a bit of a mixed bag, and those who had both original albums and the EP won't need to rush out for a replacement or upgrade given what else is on offer. "Max and Wells," recorded for a film soundtrack, is an OK enough Ed Crawford-sung cut, while instrumental versions of "Down with the Bass" and "Blaze" are more curios than anything else, not to mention a "mersh again edit" of "Witness." The concluding live tracks from the Mr. Machinery Operator tour, though, do provide a bit of a hail and farewell to the group, at least in their first phase of existence.

Customer Reviews

Good but....

Where are the more well known tunes? Brave captain, in my mind, riddle of the 80's etc...


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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lowFLOWs - The Columbia Anthology ('91-'93), fIREHOSE
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