Songs We Should Have Written

Firewater, the most bipolar band in the history of music, takes a break from tormenting family and loved ones with Songs We Should Have Written, a CD of its members’ (duh) favorite cover songs. They flip over the decayed log of their music collections and find diamonds and gold. Leading off with a Sonny and Cher hit, Tod A and his boys play “The Beat Goes On” with swagger and sarcasm. Two Lee Hazlewood songs, “This Town” and “Some Velvet Morning,” reek of stale cigarettes and cheap bourbon; The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” gets slowed down and painted blacker; and The Beatles “Hey Bulldog” is covered perfectly except for the modern bass guitar, which would have been impossible to duplicate without a time machine. The final two songs capture the genius of Firewater: “Is That All There Is?”—the most cynical song ever to make the charts—is upbeat and melodic, while Robin Hitchcock’s beautiful “I Often Dream of Trains” is played as gently as a mother nursing her child.