Some bands are so hip and stylish that their cool simply cannot be denied. Their keen sense of culture infuses every note they play.
Other bands take the opposite route, throwing themselves to the masses, hoping that their completely uncool sound and image will somehow inspire a heartfelt reaction, or perhaps become fashionable out of irony.
Even still, there are more bands that attempt to homogenize and fit in almost to the point of anonymity.
Then, there are bands like Fire Water. Their album The Man on the Burning Tightrope has absolutely no style whatsoever. “No style” as in ” It cannot be described.” Their sound is completely frantic and unrivaled by any other artist recording today.
The reason Fire Water is so unique is because no one in their right mind would actually want to sound like this.
Fire Water’s sound is that of a demented circus filled with a thousand drunken scurvy-stricken pirates banging out their anger on broken organs and glass washboards. To call it music is technically correct, since the sounds were produced on instruments and do have some semblance of song structure, but there is something so wrong with these songs that they defy all conventional definitions of song.
There is no hook. There is no melody. There is no cultural reference to their sound in the history of recorded music, other than a long tradition of horrible performances and boring noise.
Songs like, “The Vegas Strip,” and the title track simply bludgeon the listener with ramshackle instrumentation and complete boredom.
Fire Water has done something incredible with this album. The Man on the Burning Tightrope is a disaster that boggles the mind. It feels as though so much more could be said, but truly, it is so grotesque that there simply are not words.