Last updated: 08/16/2001 03:20:04 AM
Spawned by an unruly posse in an L.A. junior high over 20 years ago, Fishbone, according to the group's hyper-kinetic, elastic-voiced singer Angelo Moore, "started out in the music room playin' Bootsy, Rick James, and Led Zeppelin covers and we just stuck together. We'd go over to Wood's (rubber-fingered bassist, Norwood Fisher) mom's house and play in the bedroom, bangin' on pots and pans and whatever."
"At first, we'd get together on weekends," recalls trumpeter/singer Walter "Dirty Walt" Kibby II, "then it turned into every day. It's the only band I've really been in. We had other names before Fishbone. Another name we had - Megatron - would get us gigs with heavy metal bands. So they'd book us with metal bands, and we'd get up there and play ska and funk and stuff, and these longhairs would be saying, "What the hell are these guys doing here?"
Fishbone's eagerness to confront, provoke and cross-pollinate enabled them (along with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Untouchables et al) to help the early-80's LA/Orange County music scene shake free of the unsavory grip of uninspired rock and "New Wave" hair bands. Since breaking through in 1985 with the frenetic, cross-media smash "Party at Ground Zero" (from their self-titled debut EP), the 'Boners have continued to delight fans and confound radio programmers with eight more pungent servings (5 full-length, 3 EPs) of their joyful, eclectic noise. Through it all, the band has embraced, lampooned and shifted hairstyles and clothes like a stripped-gear chameleon - the constants are ENERGY and MOTION.
Ya see, even if some monolithic radio stations haven't always sussed Fishbone's straight-talk, quicksilver material and shoot-from-the-hip attack, live audiences around the world have been surrendering to the band's stage flash and magical riddums with uninterrupted regularity. Such passionate devotion is not lost on Fishbone, who refer to their friends on the road as "The Familyhood."
Fishbone introduces you to their high-protein-fueled future with "The Friendliest Psychosis of All," which will be released in February of 2002 on the band's own Nuttsactor5 label. These recordings capture the true spirit of Fishbone's infamous Nuttsack Studio, the inspirational Zen-spot for the material contained in this release.
This follow-up to their 2000 release "The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk" (Hollywood Records) is a real party from beginning to end. 3 songs in almost 30 minutes, and you wish it would never end. Packed with some of the true "Homies" of the band, this disc starts with "A Friendly Psychosis," bringing Fishbone together with Primus, Buckethead, Blowfly, Weapon of Choice's Mega*nut, J-Ro & Styles of Tha Lik-Wit Crew, George Clinton, David Baerwald and more friends on a satirical journey into the dark side of the entertainment industry. Like a bonafide genius/lunatic convention, this track pokes fun at every angle of the pop music machine.
On "Let Dem Hoe's Fight pt. 2," Punk-Rock-Hip-Pop-Spunk-Splatter-Platter is served up with healthy portions of kneecaps and elbows. Vocals by LA legends Medusa and Neb-Luv give the blow-by-blow commentary at ringside. Propelled by the rambunctious music of Fishbone, it's as if the track is designed to put you directly at center ring with an uppercut comin' right for your head and you might not have time to duck.
"X-Cuze me Dr. Madd Vibe, House Call Pull-Ease" is an improvised masterpiece, 100% telepathy or bust performance. Dr. Madd Vibe (Angelo Moore) and Co. go all out on a limb, to knock a nutt out of squirrel's mouth and make it funky. Power poetry, Theramin and saxophone hold your attention as the rhythm section percolates and bounces off each other in calls and responses. This is spiritual, this is nuttsacreligeous, and this is an embodiment of why most musicians play music. Over all, this disc ushers in the era of independence for Fishbone. It is playful, deep and celebratory.
As the launch pad for the future of Fishbone's ever-unfolding musical mission, the disc serves its listener a triple dose of anarchy, boundary crossing, unfettered improvisation and a fuck it all attitude, for a multifaceted rebirth into a wide open playing field. Please feel free and stay tooned, as the legend of Fishbone continues to be written.