Firewater - "Three Legged Dog" (mp3)
Firewater's 6th album, and their 5th of original material, The Golden Hour, is quite frustrating to me. Not because it's really bad, but because it fails to grab me while not being substantially different from their earlier albums or obviously missing some key element. It just doesn't click in the same way as, say, The Ponzi Scheme, and I'm not sure if it's just that it's 10 years later and I'm 10 years older than when I heard that album, or it really just lacks something. And I'm usually the first person to give an aging band a chance to prove they're as good as they used to be. But to my ears it feels like every Firewater album is inferior to the one before it, and I'm not totally confident that it's just me.
Anyway, I'd decided I didn't much care for the new album, aside from maybe one great song, "Three Legged Dog" (just as I didn't much care for 2003's The Man On The Burning Tightrope aside from "Dark Days Indeed"). And that was that. Until I decided to go to their show at the Ottobar about a month ago, hoping to hear a bunch of the old Firewater songs I loved. Instead, they played 3 oldies and the entirity of The Golden Hour, and to my surprise, it was a fucking great show, easily one of the best I've seen all year. Every song that bored me on the record turned into an insane party in a live setting. But that's more of a testament to the greatness of Firewater as a live band than this material, I guess, because after the show, I sat down with the album again, and it's just kinda there. I've listened to it all the way through backwards, and on shuffle, and the best feelings I get out of it are mainly the memories of the show that it conjures up. "Three Legged Dog" is still pretty great, though.