It's always a questionable thing when a long-gone band suddenly reappears on the musical landscape. Too often the motive is obvious--money--and the performances laughable. Yet, there are those bands with the integrity to come back and do it right. More often than not, these are punk bands. (Remember how awesome the Buzzcocks were when they came out of retirement?) These bands left it all on stage night after night in their youth and wouldn't think of doing anything less in the reformation stage.
One such band with high personal expectations is fIREHOSE, taking another crack at it some 18 years after calling it quits. The seminal band thrived on the DIY ethos, from endless touring (more than 1,000 shows in seven-plus years) to making its own T-shirts to sell from the stage at the end of each performance. Few artists, James Brown aside, worked as hard.
Musically, no band compared; even came close. Rising out of the ashes of fabled punk band the MINUTEMEN, fIREHOSE--bassist Mike Watt, guitarist Ed Crawford and drummer George Hurley--fused driving punk, free jazz, classic rock, funk and soul into a tightly woven musical melee that wasn't exactly danceable, but caused inexplicable bodily movement.
"Nobody played like us, no one has since. Nobody's got those kind of balls," Crawford said during a recent phone interview from the band's Long Beach, California rehearsal space.