Home Read Classic Album Review: Firewater | The Man On The Burning Tightrope

Classic Album Review: Firewater | The Man On The Burning Tightrope

Tod A.’s twisted soul and scarred psyche fuel this dark carnival of cynicism.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Step right up, folks. Come one, come all to the most unusual, the most unsettling, the most unabashedly unconventional show on the midway — Firewater’s Man On The Burning Tightrope!

Starring none other than the one and only Tod A., the dark prince of the New York underground and the ringleader … er, ringmaster of this group of noir-rock misfits and mutants. Once again, the unstoppable Tod has scoured the globe in search of the strangest, the most daring and the the most exotic musical styles to excite and delight your ears! And, of course, as always, he’s plumbed the depths of his twisted soul and scarred psyche to fuel his carnival of cynicism.

Listen as the raspy-throated renegade Tod leads his charges along the high wire, moving from twisted Tom Waitsian circus fanfares to gritty indie-rock to mambo surf-pop to tangos to gypsy jazz to Middle Eastern dances to drunken Las Vegas grind-house jazz — manoeuvres accomplished with all the beauty and skill of a snake dancer! Thrill to lyrics like, “If everyone shut up maybe I could hear myself scream.” Squirm as Tod writes songs to what sound like the answering-machine tapes of his latest breakup! And marvel as he transforms all this doom, gloom, depression and degradation into one of the most death-defying stunts of his career — an elegant, eloquent walk across the rusted razor blades of his soul, all without a safety net! Step right up folks …


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