Home Read Classic Album Review: Firewater | Psychopharmacology

Classic Album Review: Firewater | Psychopharmacology

Tod A. & his New York crew take a spin on the downward spiral for our amusement.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Tod A. has never seemed like a happy camper. But on Psychopharmacology, the brilliant, black-hearted third CD from his downtown New York rock outfit Firewater, he’s truly a man in need of a shrink’s couch. Or at least his prescription pad.

This disturbing 10-song therapy session is a darkly rich chronicle of mental illness and physical trauma: Depression (Woke Up Down), schizophrenia (Get Out of My Head), suicide (Fell Off the Face of the Earth), even plane crashes (Black Box Recording). As the band wrap a tightly coiled straitjacket of edgy, noirish intensity around Tod’s rumbling, serpentine bass, Mr. A takes a spin on the downward spiral for our amusement, probing his psychic wounds with a sardonically jaundiced eye and delivering his desperate accusations with his gruff melancholy and yin-yang wordplay (“I’m a raging success as a failure”). You have two options: Laugh along with him or reach for the razor blades.