Friday, December 2, 2011

FISHBONE – CRAZY GLUE ( DC-Jam Records )

An exploding bauble of luck once cast its shrapnel about the ranks of a certain generation of loud west coast American bands... shards of it struck those who didn’t need it, those who were grateful of it and those who were positively undeserving of it. None of it seemed to land in the Fishbone encampment. This maelstrom of talent basically sat through a couple of generations worth of bands they influenced ( across several genres ) accelerating past them and towards the stars while Fishbone seemed shackled to a large rock. It’s almost like a bad cartoon, but Fishbone themselves, with all their manic energy have never been a joke. The effortless quality of their back catalogue is intimidating if anything. This is being pushed as their 25th anniversary recording... which is confusing as it indicates the anniversary of the band’s first EP and not their inception in 1979.


CRAZY GLUE kicks in at a deceptively laidback pace with the title track. This is instantly recognizable as the poppy side of the band, punctuated by the horn section in a restrained manner and not trying to break brains like they did when they opened GIVE A MONKEY A BRAIN... with SWIM ( they made a video for CRAZY GLUE so I’m guessing that above the other tracks, it’s written for airplay )... It’s pretty much reminiscent of the soul tones of THE PSYCHOTIC FRIENDS NUTTWERX from 2000. FLUTTERBUTTER is an exercise in thick funk with distinguished multiple vocal harmonies but is most striking for the rounded crunch of John Norwood Fisher’s 5 string bass. Norwood and the sound he can produce are very much the spine of the of the band and in terms of bottom end, he’s one of the finest bassists on the planet ( and in that I mean those who use their ability to serve the music instead of becoming a horrible unlistenable virtuoso ). DEEP SHIT BACKSTROKE is indeterminable schizoid Fishbone being a soul band and a punk band at the same time, something they’ve always excelled at. It’s heartening to hear them push ( former Suicidal Tendencies ) Rocky George’s metallic riffing up in the mix. He’s the one guitarist of several that has really fit the roll of playing for Fishbone post Kendall Jones ( who departed the band after going slightly mad in 1993 ). DUI FRIDAY has a noisy jazzy skank shuffle to it, flexing musical muscle in all sorts of directions and AKKAFOO is a twisted metal punk thing with Angelo Moore just plain showing off his vocal abilities... it’s hard to believe, with 32 years of Fishbone behind him that he’s only 46!!... and of course for any rabid Fishbone fan it’s amazing to hear Angelo and "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II work vocals together again ( Dirty Walt was in the band ’79-’03 and only returned last year ). GITTIN’ IN THAT ASS is listed as a separate track but is pretty much AKKAFOO continued... I’m guessing there’s no room on what’s supposed to be an EP for an 8 minute plus track. Finally, WEED, BEER, CIGARETTES is hyper funk with more impossible bass, incredibly inventive riffing, jaw dropping drumming... This is testament to the beauty of Fishbone. It’s a final 3 minutes for this peacock to display it’s plumage and remind the world of what makes it remarkable.


I’m not sure why they couldn’t have held out for another 3 songs and simply marketed it as an album. After all, 5 years have passed since STILL STUCK IN YOUR THROAT. It’s probably got everything to do with being parallel to the release of the movie EVERYDAY SUNSHINE - THE STORY OF FISHBONE... and this in itself is perhaps an effort to right some worldly wrongs in an ANVIL sort of way. Whatever it’s intentions, it holds an honourable 100% rating and number one in Rotten Tomatoes top 100 movies of 2011 and this particular fishbone fan is extremely eager to view it....

 - BOZ

 http://fishbone.net/

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