Five 1980s bands who broke up too soon

Bands who left us far too early.
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fIREHOSE, 1986-1993 (5 albums)

fIREHOSE (stylized with the lowercase “f”) was a personal reclamation project for Mike Watt, after his best friend and co-founder of seminal post-punk band Minutemen, D Boon, died in a car crash at the age of 27. Watt, who played bass and co-wrote Minutemen songs with Boon, recruited a new guitarist, Ed Crawford, to join Minutemen drummer George Hurley in the new project. Actually, Crawford, a big Minuteman fan, largely recruited himself.

Their first album, 1986’s Ragin’, Full On hit the ground running. Crawford’s songwriting may not have been as subtle or clever as Boon’s, but he can blast his way through solid rockers like “Brave Captain.” And that old D. Boon spirit was very much alive on the tracks Watt wrote with his wife, one-time Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler. Those are spiky, confrontational blasts with titles like “Under the Influence of Meat Puppets.”

fIREHOUSE would improve their sound and their songs on the three albums they released for SST during the rest of the ‘80s. Then they left the indie for Columbia and released two more albums in the ‘90s. Those albums are largely forgettable, so I suppose you could say that they don’t exactly fit with the others on this list. By the time they called it quits in 1993, it was time. But maybe they simply never should have left SST. So I’m choosing to ignore those final two releases and say that it’s a shame fIREHOUSE stopped being fIREHOUSE after 1989’s Fromohio.

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