One Track Mind: The Fireman, "Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight" (2008)

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Photobucket“Just reading those lines (of the Townshend interview) fired my imagination. I thought, Right, they’ve done what they think was the loudest and dirtiest; we’ll do what we think. I went into the studio and told the guys, ‘Look, I’ve got this song but Pete said this and I want to do it even dirtier.’ It was a great brief for the engineers, for everyone- just as fuzzy and as dirty and as loud and as filthy as you can get it is where I want to go. I was happy to have Pete’s quote to get me there.”

–Paul McCartney, on the inspiration for writing “Helter Skelter,” Mojo Magazine, October 2008.

Back in 1968, a Beatle sought to one-up The Who’s “I Can See For Miles,” and from the pen that brought the world “Yesterday” came forth arguably the first-ever heavy metal song. Thirty years later it would appear that McCartney is again trying to burnish his overlooked credentials as a raucous rocker. At least that’s the big impression he leaves with The Fireman’s “Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight.”

All the Paul aficionados already know that The Fireman is an infrequent collaboration between Macca and ambient house innovator Youth, and their music to this point sounds a lot like Youth and just a little like Paul. But even knowing that doesn’t prepare followers for The Fireman’s third release Electric Arguments, coming out shortly on November 18. I’m going to leave it to Something Else’s resident McCartney authority Nick Deriso to give you the lowdown on the whole album, but I just had to rave on right now about its killer opening cut.

“Nothing Too Much” isn’t exactly a “Helter Skelter” clone, but it’s just as filthy: a booming, plodding 7/4 beat, a menacing harmonica, some blues slide, Jimmy Page guitar heaviness, and that clear-toned, omnipresent bass that likes to sneak up into the high register…which can only come from you-know-who. And then there’s those insanely amped-up distorted vocals. Sounding like Howlin’ Wolf after a fifth of Jim Beam, the sixty-six year old knighted ex-Beatle hadn’t belted out a song this raw since at least, well, 1968.

This is from the same guy who offered up the cheery ditty “See Your Sunshine” only last year. Paul McCartney today continues to surprise with the range of styles he has mastered well before most of you were born. Only maybe this time for the first time since the early eighties, people will actually take notice.

“Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight” if nothing else screams—literally—for attention.

“One Track Mind” is a more-or-less weekly drool over a single song selected on a whim and a short thesis on why you should be drooling over it, too.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron

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