Reviews & Good Words for "February On Ice"
Robert Christgau Dean of American rock critics
Consumer Guide: April, 2021
Joe Fahey: February on Ice (Rough Fish) Twin Cities lifer Fahey hits the bullseye twice with the same song, the explicitly ecological “Dante’s Inferno,” which serves as both Crazy Horse-style opener and solo-acoustic closer: “What are you gonna do when the glaciers flood your basement?/What are you gonna do when you have to answer to Al Gore?” That plus its life’s companion we wish would grow old, the long overdue cheap shot “Fuck the Republicans,” would certainly inspire a guy to get his album on, especially with good ones that aren’t filler themselves close at hand. “Day Drinking With Dracula,” for instance, is a joke that comes easy. “I Feel So Alone Now” is so bereft you’ll feel a touch bereft yourself if you can just keep listening. A MINUS
Three of the picks in the April 2021 Consumer Guide at Substack were recorded 30-40-50 years ago, and then there's that White Stripes best-of. But all sound new, as do the two no longer young singer-songwriters and the two tested young Black pathfinders. https://t.co/fobkexdmcz
On the Web
Joe Fahey: February on Ice (2021, Rough Fish): Minneapolis singer-songwriter. Has a couple previous albums, but nothing Discogs or Wikipedia have noticed. Rocks some, chills out, lyrics tend to ramble, but unique enough he may be worth the trouble. Or maybe not. Choice cut: "Fuck the Republicans." B+(***)
Peter Jesperson Manager of The Replacements / Twin Tone Records / New West Records
February On Ice is an incredible piece of work. To my ears, it's the best thing you've done, so far. The consistent quality of the writing is what puts it over the top for me. As always, I love your wry sense of humor. And I have to tell you, I laughed out loud the first time I heard the "Dracula/Spectacular" rhyme - why didn't someone think of that before??!! I'm reminded of Leonard Cohen, Jonathan Richman, Lambchop, Vic Chesnutt and The Velvet Underground. My favorite track is "Ocean Song." The opening chords gave me instant goosebumps. And of course the vibe of your paintings adds to the feel of the whole thing. It deserves to be heard by multitudes!
Jim Walsh Author of The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting: An Oral History
"Beautiful moving smart sweet needed soulful funny funky fun “February On Ice”"
Brad Luen "Semipop Life" Sustack
Another of Minneapolis’s infinite supply of literate singer-songwriters, this one with four decades of microindie roots rock under his belt. In that time, he’s amassed a big bag of late 20th century guitar tones and has become effortless around a chord change. While he never turned into a prepossessing singer, his almost whispered low end makes you pay attention to the words, which, shock of shocks, are often the point. Strong at the couplet level, he evokes a suburban bliss that dystopia could invade at any moment; only “Fuck the Republicans” reveals that moment was four decades of microindie roots rock ago.
Grade: B PLUS (“Dante’s Inferno”, “Day Drinking with Dracula”, “That Northtown Mall (Has Got It All)”)