Citizen Fish ”˜Goods’
Alternative Tentacles (VIRUS 424)
Available now..

Seems that Dick Lucas could justifiably claim the title of the “Hardest working Man in Rock” ”“ over the past 30 years he has released in excess of 25 full length albums, a similar quantity of EP’s and innumerable singles on nearly as many labels ”“ with his collection of bands he has literally toured the world – that said he would no doubt reject it on the basis of it being ethically/morally wrong etc!

For the uninitiated Lucas is the enigmatic front-man of UK anarcho punks Subhumans, and also the boss of the Subhumans own Bluurg Records ”“ Lucas generally spreads an anti capitalist, pro free speech doctrine often being grouped within the Crass/Flux genre of punk.

Citizen Fish were formed from members of the Subhumans and Culture Shock, and produce some of the most lyrically provocative, and musically powerful ska-punk around.

”˜Goods’ is the eighth full length, and first new Citizen Fish album since 2005’s ”˜Life Size’ ”“ the theme of the album, as illustrated within the artwork being that as the modern world spins ever more rapidly into decline even human emotions such as Empathy, Love and Truth have been reduced to commodities ”“ Lucas even suggests that he himself as well as the music he produces has become just another consumer product ”“ ”˜Goods’ is essentially an impassioned plea for us all to wake up and take notice, to acknowledge that even the right to ”˜free speech’ is being sold to us in a diluted form.

‘Wake Up’

There is nothing diluted about Citizen Fish’s musically delivery ”“ As expected of a band with such an extensive history they have got better with age; the Fish now deliver some of the finest ska-punk around, each separate ingredient would in its own right be regarded as exemplary ”“ the blending of full on hardcore with jaunty brass fuelled ska is joyous; the brass is warm, subtle even, it doesn’t, like many other ska releases overpower the music ”“ this at times is even soulful!

Lucas has written reams of lyrics for each track, all faithfully transcribed into the 7pg booklet ”“ ”˜Better’ deals with societies increasing reliance upon technology and suggests that such dependence is killing our feelings of humanity. ”˜Marker Pen’ sees Lucas project himself forward into retirement age, and recounts a faintly amusing tale of an elderly male who even in his final years still enjoys acts of subversion “wrote on the TV screen and the beverage machine ”˜out of order’ ”“ wrote on the chairs that someone else was sitting there”

‘Discomfort Zone’

”˜Goods’ is a much anticipated release and thankfully is a release that proves Citizen Fish have once again hit their creative stride; it’s much stronger than their previous output. ”˜Goods’ has got spirit, it’s energetic, there are chanting sing-a-long refrains ”“ however this remains a well crafted, considered album that despite the desperation the lyrics allude to seems to have been an release that Citizen Fish enjoyed creating.

If the world is going to hell in a hand basket, then we might as well go whilst listening to a jaunty tune!

Read a recent Subhumans live review

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.



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