The album that arrived just before The Microphones' 2001 masterpiece The Glow Pt. 2 found the project in a somewhat lighter and more playful headspace. Still built on studio experimentation and Phil Elverum's blurry songwriting, It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water doesn't have the cloak of mysticism and existential angst that would appear on much of Elverum's work that followed. Instead, we're treated to bright indie folk melodies, flowing waves of vocal harmonies, a reverent Eric's Trip cover and fun moments where Elverum borrows the melody from "Blue Moon." The Glow Pt. 2 would be The Microphones' grandest statement, but It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water is a lighter side of all the things that made this era of the project so special.
They didn't have a songwriter quite as good as Paul Westerberg, but for sheer rock action, sweaty passion, and beer-addled fun, the Pontiac Brother deserved a level of popularity commensurate with that of their friends and kindred spirits the Replacements. This two-fer release brings together their second and third albums (from 1985 and 1986), and it sums up their blend of hard rock swagger and regular-guy attitude pretty brilliantly. Dude Gnarly, you are missed.