by Badmoon USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 22 replies

Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

It's hard to say something about Phish that I have not said in past reviews of their other albums. The quartet has done it all. They've made humorous, technical, emotional, beautiful, happy, and ground breaking music. They are truly unique and original. Phish, like their forefather, The Grateful Dead, and like many other Jam Bands have skill in playing many other genres then Rock. Unlike The Grateful Dead though, Phish are trained in many other genres that The Grateful Dead were not, but The Dead perfected the genres they played.

Phish, just so happen to show of many of their the genres they play great on Hoist. Blues, Bluegrass, Soul, some Psychedelia, and Rock are just some shown on this great album. Other than the diversity of Hoist, it does contain a huge production, which to many it bad, but I figure there trying to change up the order a little bit.

Hoist also, as I listed before includes help from Alison Krauss. Who you may have heard on many of the tracks on the motion picture Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. Bela Fleck, banjo extroadinare from Bela Fleck and The Flecktones also lends his amazing skills on several of the tracks. Other musicians such as Morgan Fichter, Rickey Grundy Chorale, Rose Stone, Jean McClain, and Jonathan Frakes lend help on Hoist. And The Tower of Power horn section, and The Richard Greene Fourteen also give a hand.

Overall, I believe Hoist is an amazing, catchy, and fun album that just does good for the band. Others feel different, but to each his own.


"Julius" is a perfect track to start of the album. The song is led by great, simple guitar riff that plays throughout the song. "Julius" is highly influenced by Blues, and it easily heard since the start of the song. I particularly like the lyrics also. The number goes through changes of tempos, and instruments (Acoustic, to electric, to acoustic, ect...), and has quite a big production as does many of the other songs, as I said before. Great song :thumb: 5/5

Down with Disease

Definitely one of the highlights of the album and a Phish classic. The track has some great bass playing some nice guitar work, and mediocre everything else. The song is incredibly catchy and easily gets stuck in my head. I love the sound of the guitar work, it just gives a memorable feeling in the track. The lyrics are okay, but it's the flow and the music that makes the number. Without a doubt 5/5.

If I Could

"If I Could" is just a nice, beautiful, soulful, gospel like, slower tune. Alison Krauss (Who did work on the Oh Brother, Where Art Though soundtrack.) singing along side Phish and Trey. She really manages to add a beautiful feeling to it. Especially with the verse she sings solo. The lyrics are nice, but along side the vocals it kind of makes it sound Gospel like, which isn't exactly bad. It is ones of my favorite tracks on Hoist, and is just great ;). 5/5

Riker's Mailbox

"Riker's Mailbox" is obviously a joke/filler. It includes the sound of horns and what sounds like Turkeys goubling, or whatever they do. I can't rate this.

Axilla [Part II]

This track has "Johnny B. Goode" feeling to it, well in the intro. It's the aggressive guitar playing that probably makes it sound similar. Quickly after the intro the track breaks into a Psychedelic like mood, with some showy guitar playing by Trey and odd sounding backing vocals. The song kind of almost goes over the top at certain points, but slows down at the perfect time. The chorus is great, very catchy and powerful. Great, heavy song. 4.5/5


Lifeboy opens w ith some nice acoustic playing, a nice bass line kicks in, and so does the piano, and the banjo (By Bela Fleck of course). The lyrics sound like they are about someone having a hard time, and blaming his problems on God. Instrumentally the song is beautiful, and it is the same lyrically and vocally (Though vocals are also an instruments). The song is good, but not a highlight, in my opinion. 3.4/5

Sample in a Jar

"Sample in a Jar" is a Phish classic and quite a good tune. It's moderately aggressive and catchy as hell. The drumming is fabulous and the rest of the playing is great too. The choruses are the climaxes of the track. The chorus have some nice lyrics which are...
Originally Posted by Anastasio/Marshall
I wheeled around because, I didn't hear what you had said. And saw you dancing with Elihu, up on Leemor's bed. And I was foggy, rather groggy. You helped me to my car. The blinding belt enclosing. A sample in a jar.
Instrumentally the song is also great, just like many other Phish songs. Definitely a highlight, classic and favorite :). 5/5

Wolfman's Brother

Another classic, catchy, instrumentally fabulous song. Fishman's drumming owns the song, and the horn section included gives the some great power and is just a plus. The chorus once again is the highlight to the track. The lyrics aren't astounding, but Phish are a Jam Band, it doesn't matter. The track probably has the best groove on the album, which I guess is great. One of my favorite tracks :thumb: 5/5

Scent of a Mule

Now, here's my favorite track. I'm a Bluegrass fan, and I find that Phish have done well with the genre. Mike sings vocals, and wrote the song. The lyrics are humorous, and Bela Fleck plays banjo on the track. And everything is just sloppy and humorous, which is what Phish is trying to acomplish. The melodies are bad (technically), there's plenty of intentional cracks in Mike's voice, and the track is just aggressive and impossible to hate (maybe). It gives off the line "Smell my mule" which I can see naming a band after :p. and I just may. This songs just adds my liking to Mike's great musical sense, and understanding of Bluegrass and humor. 5/5

Dog Faced Boy

"Dog Faced Boy" is just a little of mediocre in my opinion. It has some great vocals, and some nice acoustic work, but it personally just doesn't astound me. The acoustic guitar playing is great, and the lyrics are also, but slightly weird. 3.3/5


"Demand" will of course close this wonderful album. The song includes some fast parts, some slow, some jagged, some smooth. So, it has a bit of everything. The guitar playing is odd, but in a good way, because it does flow with the other instruments well. Fishman throws out some very odd beats. And at about two minutes in the music comes to a hault, and then the sound of a man getting into a car appears. the sound then turns into the noise of someone opening a cassette player (Probably in the car) and then putting a cassette in. And then a jam (Of course by Phish) starts up. And around the songs closing, the car, of course crashes. So, overall it's a very odd song, but it does add a unique and creative sense to the band and the album at that. 4.9/5

Overall, as I said before, Hoist is an amazing album that really gave off a great side of Phish. And I've listened to the album tens of times, and the album still amazes me, and keeps me listening. And in a way, that is what makes a classic album. 5/5, absolutely great, in my opinion.

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user ratings (71)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Doctor D.
July 13th 2004


I agree with everything you say about this album. It amazed me. Great review.

I was wondering, did anybody ever get around to Reviewing "Undermind"?

keep on phishin'
July 13th 2004


great review :thumb:
great album from a great band
my fav songs on the album are down with the disease and scent of a mule overall just a great cd

July 13th 2004


[QUOTE=Doctor D.]I agree with everything you say about this album. It amazed me. Great review.

I was wondering, did anybody ever get around to Reviewing "Undermind"?[/QUOTE]

I asked Voodoochild and he said he would, but that was awhile ago, so I may just do it.

So, I'll probably get around to do it in a day or two.

July 16th 2004



June 15th 2005


Julius and Sample is n a Jar are two incredible songs , this is my fav Phish cd.

September 19th 2006


julius has got to be one of their best songs

October 11th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

This is the first Phish album I ever got. It's still one of my favorite albums.

January 18th 2010


Down With Disease is great.

Digging: Groovy Aardvark - Vacuum

September 5th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Glad to see the covering of Phish album's on here, doesn't seem to generate enough interest in a pretty wicked band. So props for the review, nice job, though I don't think I feel quite the same about this one.

September 24th 2010


Down With Disease is awesome.

September 24th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

Phish is an amazing band...I don't think people realize how crazy heavy some of their music is... Anastasio can play a heavy metal solo as well as some of my fave heavy metal artists...and then again, some of their music is soft and melodic. They rock! More people ought to listen to Phish. They are jam band in concert, but very much song-oriented in the stuido.

October 6th 2010


Maybe if I see this in a store, I'll get it.

June 24th 2012


This is great.

December 30th 2013


Album Rating: 1.0

lol my step-dad has this CD

February 26th 2014


phish are great! no grateful dead though

Digging: D.K. - The Ancient Kingdom

November 29th 2018


Album Rating: 2.5

better than the dead imo this record is lame though

May 14th 2020


sonic u cray bay

May 14th 2020


Wrong sonic

May 14th 2020


oh shit Whamo is online boys!

May 14th 2020


A statement like that gets my attention, not that I don’t like phish, but come on, let’s be real

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