Fishbone & the Familyhood Nextperience Presents the Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx
It's been a really long time since I've listened to Fishbone. And I mean a really long time. I remember listening to Truth And Soul and earlier EP's, but I can't remember much after that. Their music has always crossed the boundaries of funk, rock, hardcore, and even some ska and reggae mixes. They hit their peak in the early Ô90s with "Everyday Sunshine," and soon after that, the band started to fall apart.
This was around the time I stopped paying attention to them. You see, they lost their original guitarist, Kendall Jones. The two times I saw Fishbone in the early Ô90s, Kendall was a guitar demon. He played with a passion that you don't see very much, a true talent. Last I heard, he joined some religious convent and pretty much disappeared. I saw them on the Warped Tour a few years ago and was uninterested, considering I hadn't seen or heard them in a while. The main disappointment was the lack of Kendall Jones and the departure of original keyboardist Charlie Down. Charlie played a vital part in Fishbone. He was lead vocalist on a lot of songs, as well as chief back up vocalist. They were good, but I just didn't get "into it" like the old days.
My opinion is starting to change with the release of their latest effort. While it still lacks the aforementioned artists, Fishbone has gone back to their roots and put out a very respectable recording. Gone is a lot of the hardcore sound that has dominated past efforts, and more emphasis is put on funk and reggae influenced music. They also got help along the way from George Clinton, Ivan Neville, Chad Smith, John Frusciante, Perry Farrell, and Gwen Stefani. The result is an extremely good record that should put these guys back on the charts. "Shakey Ground" starts everything off with a killer funk groove. "Everybody is a Star", with help from Rick James, George Clinton, and Gwen Stefani, should be a radio hit, and "The Suffering" is a probably their finest song in a decade. This is an impressive outing, and should keep these guys around for a few more years.