45 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Featuring the two fIREHOSE albums made for Columbia Records, the Live Totem Pole EP, and various selections from obscure and unreleased works, lowFLOWs is a worthy collection of the band's early-'90s output. Having come up during the determinedly independent '80s on SST Records, where "corporate rock" was vehemently scorned, and in the wake of The Minutemen (whose leader, D. Boon, had died while resting in the back of the tour van), fIREHOSE played unapologetically raw rock 'n' roll with a touch of funk in bassist Mike Watt's adventurous play. The Columbia albums represent an advancement in sound, with the guitars providing more bite and the rhythm section becoming more defined. "Too Long," for example, uses a dynamic range the earlier trio could only have imagined. The studio material all deserves to be back in print so future generations can marvel at the precision and humor of "Powerful Hankerin'" and the dizzy beauty of "Blaze." The live material shows off the band's ability to turn anything inside out as it tackles Public Enemy ("Sophisticated Bitch"), Superchunk ("Slack M**********r"), and Blue Öyster Cult ("The Red and the Black") with insight and passion. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Featuring the two fIREHOSE albums made for Columbia Records, the Live Totem Pole EP, and various selections from obscure and unreleased works, lowFLOWs is a worthy collection of the band's early-'90s output. Having come up during the determinedly independent '80s on SST Records, where "corporate rock" was vehemently scorned, and in the wake of The Minutemen (whose leader, D. Boon, had died while resting in the back of the tour van), fIREHOSE played unapologetically raw rock 'n' roll with a touch of funk in bassist Mike Watt's adventurous play. The Columbia albums represent an advancement in sound, with the guitars providing more bite and the rhythm section becoming more defined. "Too Long," for example, uses a dynamic range the earlier trio could only have imagined. The studio material all deserves to be back in print so future generations can marvel at the precision and humor of "Powerful Hankerin'" and the dizzy beauty of "Blaze." The live material shows off the band's ability to turn anything inside out as it tackles Public Enemy ("Sophisticated Bitch"), Superchunk ("Slack M**********r"), and Blue Öyster Cult ("The Red and the Black") with insight and passion. 

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2:48
1:11
2:11
3:41
2:48
2:35
3:09
2:49
2:23
2:30
2:48
1:48
1:18
2:31
2:48
5:17
2:54
2:47
3:34
3:52
3:09
2:40
2:20
2:26
2:14
3:42
3:35
4:27
5:37
1:17
3:32
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3:16
2:56
1:29
3:25
3:43
2:09
3:12
3:36
4:06
1:38
3:17
1:04
3:38

About fIREHOSE

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 Beat Generation and the erect-middle-finger indignation of the Blank Generation. However, with Crawford's decidedly folkie bent insinuating itself into the mix, fIREHOSE's songs began to expand into more traditional verse-chorus-verse songwriting symmetry. And although fIREHOSE never equaled the Minutemen's output in terms of sheer audacity and emotional depth, Crawford, Watt, and Hurley recorded rock that was muscular, dense, and daring, along with being tremendously heartfelt. They never patronized audiences or comported themselves as "rock stars"; they were instead the quintessential post-punk "peoples' band." Although they achieved wider notoriety than did the Minutemen (eventually recording for a major label), fIREHOSE called it quits in early 1994 after a desultory, dispirited final LP (Mr. Machinery Operator). Still, nearly all of their recorded work stands as some of the best late-'80s/early-'90s indie rock. ~ John Dougan

  • ORIGIN
    San Pedro, CA
  • FORMED
    1986

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