In Your Face
One reason Fishbone was so beloved in its time was that it represented the innate contradictions of being young. In other words, whatever you wanted the band to be, it was determined to be something else. In Your Face is known for its fusion of disparate musical ideas—ska, metal, new wave—but less credit was given to Fishbone for its bold lyrics. Though the group fully embraced a goofy and hyperactive performance practice, songs like “Give It Up” and “Turn the Other Way” contain a dark political commentary on life in the Cold War era. “World leaders, Necromancers, and masochists all,” sings Angelo Moore on “Turn the Other Way." “Contemplate our destinies but they all will soon fall/With our greatest dance at the Thermonuclear Ball.” At the same time, Moore showed his insecurities with the denigrating self-portrait of “I Wish I Had a Date.” All the while, Fishbone brought a ferociously precise musicianship to the table. Its message was to embody contradiction in all its forms. They showed it was not only possible but empowering to be both silly and serious, angry and nerdy, sophisticated and totally juvenile.