The creation of former Cop Shoot Cop bassist Tod A., New York-based Firewater explore an unusual and eclectic terrain where a dark Nick Cave noir groove meshes with vague and deliberate nods toward world music accentuated by lyrics that pull few punches. Tod A. spent three years traveling through India, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan and the album reflects his difficult journey where he experienced first-hand political unrest and personal illness. While his singing is pure gonzo rock posturing along the lines of Greg Dulli and his Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers, Tod A. is far more engaged with the outside world. With Firewater drummer-producer Tamir Muskat (also of Balkan Beat Box) driving the backing tracks, The Golden Hour makes for an inspired coupling. “Borneo” addresses frustration with the oil-driven economy and geo-politics of 2008. “This Is My Life” shares the spotlight with a jaunty rhythm section. “Paradise,” “A Place Not So Unkind,” and “Feels Like the End of the World” pulse with sobering reality in their resilient marches.