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In the words of a fan, "Firewater is a tight combination of many music styles, mostly klezmer jazz, rock, and a doped up high school marching band." Former Cop Shoot Cop member Tod Ashley started the band shortly after getting out of jail with a group of heavy movers (including members of Soul Coughing, The Jesus Lizard, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), and in 1996 they released their debut album Get Off the Cross (We Need the Wood for the Fire). The music is an unusual cross-breed of klezmer, cha-cha, and tango, and the album created a noticeable buzz among critics. It wasn't long before the band was touring with the likes of The Jesus Lizard and Squirrel Nut Zippers. Their sophomore release, 1998's The Ponzi Scheme, was more rock-oriented than Get Off the Cross, but still a confounding, genre-blending success. In 2001, Firewater moved still further away from ethnic music and more towards bombastic rock with an explosive third album, Psychopharmacology, which features "Get Out of My Head."