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Fireballs of Freedom | Total Fucking Blowout | review | rock | Lollipop

Fireballs of Freedom

Total Fucking Blowout (Estrus)
by Jon Sarre

I'm mildly depressional, mildly suicidal, and mildly don't give a fucktional, mebbe that's why I think the new Fireballs of Freedom record, Total Fucking Blowout is one of those rare balls-out blasts of middle fingerism for these lo-risk market-research bullshit dead-end times. Not like it makes a dent in my brain or nothin', but face it, what the fuck does? I dunno, so relentless be these Portlanders via Montanans via North Dakotans, like they play 'til yer brainpan'n'ear drums're so out of it and outta tune that ya gotta enjoy it, or mebbe not, as a friend o' mine mebbe unintentionally paraphrasing Chuck Eddy in Stairway to Hell (Motörhead, Ace of Spades number 233 sayeth Chuck: "I really wish they'd sing a nice sappy ballad once in a while for a change of pace"), "Jeez, I wish they'd break it up every once in a while with a ballad," or as ex-Gories guy Mick Collins noted whilst the Fireballs opened for his band, the Screws, "I tend to judge a band on whether you can dance to 'em. So far, I haven't heard one danceable song." Ex-Red Aunt Terri Wahl was a bit more blunt, "These guys fucking suck! Why are they still playing? When will they stop? I can't fucking believe they're still playing!"

As one who don't/won't fucking dance/don't care much fer ballads, no sir, and while I'm at it, don't really care about "professionalism" (someone o'er at SXSW wrote something for something where he called FoF "unprofessional," so they went out and monikered their last record The New Professionals), I think Total Fucking Blowout's pretty alright (but y'know, I'm compromised cuz I spent time in singer/guitarist Kelly Gately's basement with the record's covermodel, who, I discovered after talkin' at her for a half an hour, is a mannequin). The populace of this here town o' Pornland really seem to like 'em too (but mosta them are compromised, too).

Let's see, Zach Dundas, clueless music editor of the Willamette Week (Portland's answer to the Village Voice, 'cept it's slimmer and free -- and worth every penny), one of the few rock writers who can drive ultra-jaded me into a screaming frenzy just by reading the useless drivel he spouts off about -- like I wanna call him up and just tell him off some daze, y'know, well, anyway, he sometimes takes time outta keepin' the city informed of Apples in Stereolab's last gig here to talk up the Fireballs & there latest wacky doings cuz he's compromised too (by the twin curses of bein' from Montana and an idiot). Like most of the mavens of the press, but he's easily the worst -- he actually wrote about walkin' away from a show cuz they weren't impressed with his editorial credentials and wanted him to pay (when I booked this club, he used to call up and ask for guest list privileges and then not show up, just like all the fuckin' 'mersh' radio people -- why do I wanna let you in? You can't do dick for me cuz I don't need any fucking bumper stickers cuz I don't have a goddamned car!).

Girls? Oh yeah, the chicks dig 'em too. Like this one time, I asked my friend Sera what she was doin' and she told me, "Von (Venner, gtr/vox)." OK, you can bet all the ladies dig these guys... The whole fuckin' city does, as a matter of fact. I think that's cuz people are stupid. But anyway, only person who dares say nay is Viva Las Vegas cuz they don't get her panties wet the way Zen Guerrilla or Gaunt do, and she's what my compass runs on but hell, I like FoF anyhow. So the record, Total Fucking Blowout (thank God I don't have a Jon Landau-like editor who wants me to mention at least eight songs -- I don't even know what the songs are called -- I think there's one called "Detox" and there's a Pink Floyd cover in there somewhere), ya know, it's kinda like seein' the band live; they take one riff and drive it straight into the ground -- crash'n'burnout -- and drive it deeper and then deeper some more really fast like the MC5 sans chops on lotsa speed. Von'n'Kelly'n'Troy (bass/yellin') yell stuff -- I dunno 'bout what, just stuff; I think on one song they say yer "boyfriend drives a Pinto" or sumptin' like that -- and the beat king Sammy, w-a-a-a-a-l, depending on how drunk he is, smashes away in a kinda psycho Clark Kent glasses-wearin' trance and sometimes some guy sets maracas on fire and the chicks dance'n'dance'n'dance and sometimes guys do too. One time, they came over to my house and drank a case of beer in like five minutes and Sammy was smokin' Virginia Slims thru' his nostrils. So there ya have it. Get a copy for all yer friends!


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