Fishbone (EP - 2023)


Bottles to the Ground, 2023

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


And, here it is! The first new collection of music from Fishbone in 9 years. Now reunited with original keyboardist/vocalist Chris Dowd and augmented by new guitarist Mark Phillips, Fishbone have finally returned. Though the band have never stopped touring, new music was only hoped for by longtime fans, never seeming like it would be coming. With five songs and a very brief running time, we can take what we can get. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Confusing fans with the title and the cover art, which is just a touch-up of the art from their 1985 debut, the band kicks things off with the rousing “All We Have is Now,” a rousing, grooving number that might remind you of the Fishbone you came to love all those years ago. It’s definitely a track that shows that the band really haven’t lost a step when it comes to their sound. It’s a great thing to hear.

Dowd really makes his presence known with two tracks, including the rollicking “Cubicle,” which dates back to the early 2010s with one of his other projects. Dowd always brought a lot of soul to the band’s punk-ska and he turns up the ska here and allows the band to come back from their lost years of sometimes difficult songwriting. Phillips steps up as well with his contribution, “Wake Up My Child,” which is one of the more eye-opening tracks the band have put out.

It's the band’s collaboration, as it were, with members of NOFX (whose Fat Mike produced the tracks and is putting it out on his new label), “Estranged Fruit,” that turns out to be one of the only weak tracks here. It’s an okay song but could’ve been so much cooler without NOFX on the track.

Overall, my only real complaint about the record is it would’ve been nice to have some songwriting collaboration within the band. Other than that, it’s just great to hear some Fishbone again—this time without seeming so angry and all over the place musically.

Rating: A-

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