|Fishbone - The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Tuesday, 21 March 2000|
Fishbone is probably the funkiest band you’ve never heard of. With a career that spans over 20 years, blockbuster acts such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones just to name a few have sited Fishbone as a major influence. Crafting a sound that is one part Rick James, one part Bad Brains and one part Parliament, Fishbone hasn’t enjoyed the level of commercial success that some of their pupils have achieved, but are hoping to find it with the release of their new album "The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx." Showing the clout they have as underground rockstars, Fishbone managed to recruit George Clinton, Rick James Donny Osmond, Flea and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction just to drop a new of the famous names that appear on this album.
The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx suffers from Jeckyl and Hyde syndrome. The first half of the album is very good and the second half nothing short of bad. The first five songs are tight, well written jams that have memorable hooks and catchy lyrics. As good as the first five songs on the album are, the last five songs just don’t keep up. The subject matter moves from light hearted and fun to the more serious tip with tracks such as "Aids & Armageddon" and "Dear God" but the music seems uninspired and lifeless. It has been quite a while since Fishbone has put out an album and it’s a shame that they were only able to come up with half an album of solid material.
The sound on Nuttwerx is a very dry, in your face sound with very few studio tricks and a less than stellar sounding mix. The horns, which are a major part of Fishbone’s sound are not as defined as they could and should be. The album does not sound horrible, but as I listened to the album, it was obvious that the recording doe not do justice to the parts that the band played. I don’t suggest drop what you are doing and run out to buy this album, but it is worth a listen if you want to hear the band that inspired some of the most popular funk/rock/ska bands of today.