John Frusciante Goes Solo, Again

New label to feature album by ex-Freewheeler

John Frusciante is best known these days for adding some fresh punk spirit (and amazing guitar work) to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but you might recall that some years back, during a period when he was not in the Chili Peppers, he released two extremely bizarre (like, not good) solo albums. Now he's got a new one, To Record Only Water for Ten Days, due in February. Frusciante wrote all the songs; he sings, plays all the music and produced the album, recorded mostly at his home studio in L. A. off and on during the past year or so. It's good, with a sound that at times mixes elements of garage rock, '60s punk and '60s pop; at others, such as on the instrumental "Murders," it reminds me of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. While the guitars sound great, this is an album full of good songs, not a showcase for guitar excursions. "Going Inside" and "Wind Up Space" will hook you immediately, but you'll likely also fall for the delicate instrumental "Ramparts" and the trippy ballad "Invisible Movement." During February Frusciante will perform four solo acoustic shows in Europe, and then expects to play New York and L. A. sometime after his return to the U.S. (working around writing sessions for the next Chili Peppers album). ... Luther Russell, ex-lead singer for the much-underrated Freewheelers, will release a solo acoustic album in April on Alex Steininger's new In Music We Trust label. Also due in the spring is an album by Sean Croghan (ex-Crackerbash, Jr. High), which Steininger describes as "full-band solo album that goes from Bob Dylan to the Clash to Elvis Costello, sometimes in one song." [Tuesday, January 23, 2001]

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