Friday, May 27, 2005

Lungfish, I

Lungfish- Talking Songs For Walking

You know how in early hip hop, the DJ would find a three second break and then scratch it back and forth so it became an awesome four minute song? Not entirely unlike the guiding principal behind Lungfish: find the groove, however long it happens to be, and repeat it. Lungfish songs have one, maybe two parts that are repeated over and again while missives about flying saucers, seasons and mountains of teeth are spouted/shouted by Daniel Higgs, this tattooed mountain of a man who probably has a bunch of food stuck in that gnarly beard of his.

This is another one of those bands who you either like or you don’t. If you’re in the first category, chances are you like the band rabidly. You get hypnotized as the aliens who might be gods (gods who might be aliens?) seize control of Higgs’ nervous system and use him as their mouthpiece of the apocalypse.

Lungfish- Pass And Stow

Lungfish does change a little bit from album to album, even though they keep the same songwriting formula. Let me tell you, ‘Pass And Stow’ is total rock. Produced really well, with good, trebly guitar tone sitting right where it needs to in the mix, each drum hit audible, bass holding it all together (this record, now that I take a closer look, was recorded in 1994- could it be, then, that Dischord could afford better production because of the cash the label made off of ‘In On The Kill Taker,’ the Fugazi record released in the wake of the Nirvana hype? Hmmmm…..) This record is a perfect demonstration of what Lungfish is capable of- at their best, the riffs hit you on a visceral level. You react to ‘em over and over, get hyponitzed by the repetition, and then the lyrics seep into your mind at a level beyond conscious thinking and squeegee that third eye clean. This record is a great place for newcomers to start.

Lungfish- Indivisible

A pensive, kinda mellow start, swaying with a gentle, electric intensity that you don’t hear so much when the band is concentrating on The Rock. A reduction of volume, certainly, with some instrumentals, a backwards-tape song, and a few cuts that actually have two parts (!). Each number grows in magnitude as the album progresses, until ‘Fill the Days’ kicks an ungodly amount of ass, barreling rock that feels like a four-minute reduction of all that is perfect on ‘Pass And Stow’. Seriously, perhaps the best song in the Lungfish catalogue, on an album that is more or less impeccably sequenced. Then it’s to ‘Sin To Live,’ just so the band can rub it in a little bit- “Hi. We’re Lungfish. That whole album was amazing. We’ll give you this one last song to think about what you just heard.”- and then it’s over. Goddamn.


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