Friday, August 12, 2011

90's Hit Parade #39

Fishbone - Housework

There are certain sounds that I have an almost fetish-like love for. No matter how mediocre the material, if the Ramones are playing anthemic punk rock, if Black Sabbath is cranking out slow, heavy riffage, if the Beastie Boys are rapping, I'm happy. I'll gladly listen to the worst Holwin' Wolf blues record you can dig up. And as lame and annoying as Fishbone got, as much padding as they filled out their sprawling records with, as corny as their attempts at humor sometimes were, as lunkheaded as their political anthems could be, if they start playing ska, to this day my ears prick up.

Reality of My Surroundings is considered by some a high point of their career. I think the album's too damn long, and contains a lot of just bad stuff ("Fight the Youth" is exhibit A, and that "If I Were a...I'd" shit keeps fucking up the flow of the album). I think of it together with all the other overlong, disappointing follow-ups of 1991 (Red Hot Chili Peppers' Bloodsugarsexmagic, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91: The Enemy Strikes Back, De La Soul is Dead...although I have certainly reversed my position on that one...lame records by Butthole Surfers, Ministry, I forget what else). But I'll readily admit there are some real gems buried on it, none better than "Housework," which is almost the platonic ideal of a Fishbone song: the bouncy, manic ska, the dixieland horn jam, the breakdown into 3/4, that cool piano that kicks it off...all just perfect!

Bonus Bonin':


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