• 1.
    Skip Beat
  • 2.
    Got Everything
  • 3.
    Pushin' Back Days
  • 4.
  • 5.
    The Chooser
  • 6.
    Of the Bo
  • 7.
    TV Anthem
  • 8.
    Sweet Dough
  • 9.
    Class Action
  • 10.
  • 11.
    Pipe Bomb
  • 12.
  • 13.
    The Gift Of


With Josh Higgins joining on bass and the great Mark Trombino handling production, Fluf made a major-label debut with reasonable style on Waikiki. "Skip Beat" kicks things off just right -- there's no evidence that would set this recording aside from the earlier ones other than maybe a touch extra clarity on O's voice. Besides that, everything is shuddering stop-start rhythm and riff chunkiness and O's own blend of lyric confrontation and confession, and from there Fluf sets out to see what else can be done. The lingering influence of Hüsker Dü can be clearly heard in such blasting yet warmly touching songs as "Pushin' Back Days," while there's even a hint of the Cure's rushed guitar pop at points, especially in "Class Action." O's singing is, as ever, that of the friendly, thoughtful guy you'd like to have as a friend, one who's been bruised more than once along the way. Higgins' bass playing doesn't immediately cause comment aside from moments here and there when the band strips things down to let the rhythm take center stage. O himself peels off some great solos along the way without grandstanding while Gillett keeps things steady and subtly creative as ever. Trombino's own excellent skills behind the boards let the band practically explode from the speakers -- not that the trio was ever particularly quiet before -- as well as slipping in more delicate moments here and there. The variety between full-on and calmer breaks on "Got Everything" and "Of the Bo" make for fine listening, while the acoustic start of "Chocolate" is a nice touch. Waikiki doesn't show the band making any grand changes, but Fluf doesn't need to -- the trio has a good sound and knows how to make it work. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi

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