Fishbone - EP
Fishbone’s inaugural release encapsulates the tightly wound attack of its live show, which the band had honed over six years on Los Angeles' sweaty underground club circuit. Given its inherent eccentricities, it’s astounding how fresh the this debut sounds all these years later. There's no question that No Doubt borrowed more than a little from Fishbone’s aesthetic, and the massive popular success of Gwen Stefani & Co. makes early Fishbone records appear even more prophetic. Fishbone's goal was to be extremely fun and extremely weird at the same time. “Ugly” is the obvious hit single, but other songs here are just as crucial to the group’s identity. “Another Generation” and “Party at Ground Zero” present a kind of postapocalyptic ska music that's fitting for mid-'80s Los Angeles. The group’s pranksterish side comes out on “? (Modern Industry),” in which the band members recite radio station call letter in funny voices. The lyrics of “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” are sure to offend some listeners, but at least the song proved that tongue-in-cheek misogyny wasn't solely the province of rappers.