It was the Winter of 1992 when I discovered the band that would forever change my life. In one second, the band's name flew from the televised mouth of Jeremy Irons to my young ears and a few seconds later, everything I knew about music changed. Two years later, I finally bought three of their albums and began a life long love of one of the most amazing bands I've ever seen, met and listened to. That band was Fishbone.
That cover best describes the contents of their debut EP. Somewhat manic, other times really cool and laid back. It was definitely an album you could bounce off of the walls dancing or jumping around to and my 14 year old ears ate every second of it. From the fast-paced opener, "Ugly," to the EP's finale of infidelity and friendship, "Lyin' Ass Bitch," this album is 26 minutes of ska and rock heaven.
For me, there was something magical about the album as a whole. Fishbone were definitely different than any other rock band I had ever seen or heard. Different in the sense that I had, up to that point, never seen or heard a band so animated and alive. Different in the sense that I finally found a band that I could relate to culturally. We were both outsiders in a world that was different to us and because of what we are/were, you're expected to be a certain way and listen to certain things. So in Fishbone, I found people who understood that being yourself will make you different from the pack and that there is nothing wrong with it.
On the musical front, this album introduced me to Ska which led to a long period of musical obsession with the genre. Beyond that, there was something so amazing about the instrumentation and songs. They were exciting and incredible to listen to over and over again. In fact, this is the only album I own that makes an apocalypse seem like it is the must see event of the decade.
For me, this record began my obsession with music in general. Since there weren't a lot of people in my high school who knew about Fishbone, I was also able to feel slightly cool knowing that none of these people could or would appreciate the coolness of this band (this had been proven many times via mixtapes and the one opportunity I had to showcase the band for my Sophomore music class. You haven't experienced an awkward moment until you've played "Question Of Life" for a group of 15 year old kids who love Rap and R&B). To this very day, I still have the same feelings toward the first album and the band. Once in a while, someone will notice my Fishbone pin and say "Fishbone, awesome." That's probably another person, like myself, that feels like they stumbled onto the greatest musical secret ever. I don't know how it came to them but for me, all it took was Jeremy Irons to say "Ladies and gentlemen, Fishbone."
Enjoy these videos from their self-titled debut EP