& the Familyhood Nextperience
Album: The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk
Fishbone, to me, was one of the most whacked out, distinctive and
probably the most eclectic alternative bands of the late '80s.
Combining equal parts of deep funk, high-energy punk and frantic
ska, the group gained a sizable cult following but never seemed
to attract a mainstream audience.
The L.A.-based group, led by vocalist/saxophonist Angelo Moore,
formed in 1979 while the band was still in junior high school.
After performing in local clubs during the early '80s, the band
signed with Columbia Records in the mid-'80s, releasing a self-titled
EP in 1985. The following year, Fishbone released their first
full-length album, 'In Your Face'. Although it was a somewhat
slick production, the band's wacky sense of humor and the sheer
energy of their performances burned through the slightly polished
'Truth and Soul', Fishbone's second album in
1988 captured the band at probably their most ambitious, as they
slammed between heavy metal and funk. The album expanded their
audience and even charted at number 153. However, the band
didn't record a new album for another three years. In the years
to follow, the band remained busy touring, putting out EP's, going
through band member change-ups, switching labels and putting out
more albums, but never really establishing itself as a mainstream
Despite their poor sales, the group remained a popular
concert attraction, issuing the all-star 'Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk'
in the spring of 2000. Regrouping with a half-new lineup,
Fishbone returned on Hollywood Records with their first album of
new material since 1996. Featuring a bevy of guest performers,
from funk legends George Clinton and Rick James to legendary underground
comedian 'Blow Fly' and--of all people--Donny Osmond. There's
also an assortment of fellow pioneers in the fusion of hard alternative
rock with funk, including 'H.R.' of 'Bad Brains', Perry Farrell
of 'Jane's Addiction' and 'Flea' of 'The Red Hot Chili Peppers'.
The record concentrates mostly on the funk and ska sides of the
Fishbone sound, with a very sunny, good-humored vibe throughout.
With a total playing time of only 45 minutes, the album's funky
reggae grooves keep you wanting more.
Refocused and obviously re-energized, 'The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk'
is far and away Fishbone's best album in nearly a decade.
I being a long-time Fishbone fan recommend you to pick it up, by
any means and stick it in yer ear.