Monday, 28 April 2014

7 Inch Single Collection: Fishmonkeyman - Breathing

Another obscure band with a great name:


A-side: Breathing
B-Side: Chocolate Town

(Furious Fish 1991)

Fishmonkeyman - lovely name for a band, Darwin's theory of evolution summed up nicely in one portmanteau nonsense word. I like that. In fact that's probably the reason I bought this record. I say probably because this is their second single, and I do have their first - so it's possible I bought the first one because of the band name, and I may have bought this one because the first one was brilliant (or more likely fair-to middling - we'll find out when we get there). Anything else about then I cannot say - whether there was an album or further singles who knows. I could probably find out on the internet, but that sounds like too much work - I'm not being paid to write this nonsense, I just some random idiot on the internet.If you're that interested you can go and search yourself. I couldn't even find a video for this on YouTube.

So what is Breathing (the song - not the physical experience) like? Well it's as average as an early 90's indie song gets. All the stuff is there - you can pick it off a list:
Chiming guitars - check
Blokeish attitude - check
Brightly uptempo - check
Catchy with a memorable hook - check
Lyrics infused with nostalgia - check
and so on, and so on.
The story of song is basically one of I'm getting on, but I'm not dead yet. Which, for what I assume is a band of 20-somethings is a bit of a cheek. Obviously it's a commentary on the way times change and the speed of that change, and what was once hot is now cold, but it's still as good as it ever was. I could reach and be all post-modern and say the song is almost commenting upon it's own existence - but it's not quite that clever I'm afraid. Nothing soul-searching or game changing. It does the job - it's yer bog-standard bread and butter of guitar pop tunes. It'll do for now, but something better will be along soon.

Chocolate Town is something better, a more thoughtful, darker piece than the A-side. The intro almost mines the dark velvety richness of goth, until the blokey vocals kick in. This distinguishes itself from the herd a bit more by being more about the keyboards than the guitars. The subject matter - the inherent dangers of parochialism - is a bit meatier and more left of centre than then norm too. The flaw with this approach is that there is a lack of catchiness, and no real hook. So although it's more interesting than Breathing it is ultimately less memorable.

I can do little more than shrug my shoulders, think that was OK, I suppose and cry "NEXT!"

Next time the Welsh wizard of Rock 'n' Roll...

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