Firewater's sophomore album The Ponzi Scheme combines alternative rock and European cabaret and Klezmer with interesting but mixed results
After the industrial noise rock of Cop Shoot Cop, lead singer/bassist Tod Ashley moved on to the eclectic sounds of Firewater, drawing on the sounds of American indie rock equally with European traditional music such as cabaret and Klezmer. With the help of future Gogol Bordello guitarist Oren Kaplan and a variety of skilled players, the band jumps from the Screaming Trees-esque alternative rock of "I Still Love You, Judas" to the Peter Gunn aping intro track "Ponzi's Theme." At their best, Firewater are a challenging and diverse listen thanks to the gravel-voice Tod A., but that's counterbalanced by some kitschy organ and piano sounds that sound more Smash Mouth than Tom Waits.
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