The Secondman’s Middle Stand
As a member of Firehose, a trio that gave new meaning to improvisation and post-punk during the 1980s and early 1990s, bassist Mike Watt became the focal point. Although Watt has been known for enlisting guests—Eddie Vedder, Flea and countless others have recorded and played on his solo projects—his latest album should both ignite a new following and reunite him with his older fan base. Watt’s guitar-less quartet recorded the new album in his San Pedro studio earlier this year, achieving a sound unlike his previous efforts. Fans of the Hammond B-3 organ and Watt’s signature, off-kilter bass plucking should find reward in songs like “Tied a Reed ’Round My Waist” and “Puked to High Heaven.” Anyone hoping for a carbon copy of Watt’s last opus should know better. Watt likes to change it up.