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Bride of Firesign


9/4/2001 - Bride of Firesign (Rhino Records R2 74390)

        Yes Virginia, the Firesign Theatre really are in a renaissance. I know you had your hopes after the brilliant and hilarious GMIOGMD, but were worried it was a flash in the pan (15 years of stored up material). And Boom Dot Bust was, um, interesting in an experimental kind of way, but only sporadically funny. Well Bride of Firesign fulfills the promise that the 4 or 5 crazy guys are back and ready to be better than ever. It starts with an Iron John parody that's crude and clumsy. But amusing.

        Then it spins into the same sort of surreal semi-sci-fi worlds that Bozo & Eat or be Eaten lived in, with the same kind of results - inspired, thought-provoking and funny all at once. And when you discover that this world is just the frame for entering the Nick Danger story at the heart of Bride, well you'll think you've died & gone to heaven, because of course Nick Danger does what FT is best at - plays with the conventions of audio storytelling - which is why they love returning to this form. And so do we. The end, like the beginning left me feeling like there was one too many wrap-arounds to pad this out to 50 minutes. But with the middle 42 so deliriously enjoyable, this shot right to the top of my re-listening list.

        BTW for me the renaissance was confirmed by listening to the Fools in Space radio show which started about the same time this disc hit the streets - but that's a whole other review.

K. Maynard

Well, this one was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. After the last two terribly disappointing CD's I was desperately hoping for something that would carry a far-off aroma of the old Firesign. This wasn't it.

The dick jokes convinced me that I can't live in the modern Firesign universe any more. I was utterly and completely offended by this stupid crudity. I don't care how many of the "it's all good" type of fans defend it, that ended my love affair with Firesign. I ain't buying the next one. I'm not a prude, my private life would probably make you blush, but everything has a place, and I don't want weenie jokes in my humor. (And yes, I was also offended by Dr. Winkydinque. How Phil Austin could do this level of material after the high aspirations he once held for the group is incomprehensible to me.)

This kind of "humor" is simply too lowbrow for me. This is how far down we've come. Imagine the mighty FST being labeled as lowbrow! This is the OPPOSITE of the direction they should be going. Once compared to James Joyce, now their stuff is as trashy as an Andrew Dice Clay show, and about as funny as CarrotTop.

The rest of the album is a mishmash of lame callbacks and dark new places I for one don't want to revisit. That's it for me. I am now just waiting for the end of the world without a Firesign Theatre to lighten up the wait. Just when we could really use them, too. Mighty Casey has struck out.

Ex-fan #359,625