Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Firehose

  • "Ragin', Full On" [SST, 1986] C+
  • If'n [SST, 1987] B
  • Live Totem Pole EP [Columbia, 1992] Dud
  • Mr. Machinery Operator [Columbia, 1993] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

"Ragin', Full On" [SST, 1986]
Maybe Ed Crawford appeared to Mike Watt and George Hurley as in a vision, but he appears to us as their new frontman, and the courage they showed starting fresh after D. Boon took the Minutemen with him resists auralization almost as obdurately as that vision does. In short, this sound pretty good insofar as it postpunks like the old band and pretty bad insofar as it makes room for Crawford, a moderately hot guitarist whose vocal instincts are as sappy as his lyrics. C+

If'n [SST, 1987]
They sound more like a regular rock band and also more like the Minutemen, which isn't a contradiction because the Minutemen were evolving into a regular rock band when D. Boon died--one that resembled this fluidly funky outfit a lot more than the weird and wimpy hippies of the debut. This time Ed Crawford provides enough garage hooks to get by, meaning Mike Watt doesn't disappear amid the new guy's mannerisms. I only wish Mike Watt's Central American mention held like his Richard Hell mention and his Michael Stipe tribute. B

Live Totem Pole EP [Columbia, 1992] Dud

Mr. Machinery Operator [Columbia, 1993] Dud