The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx


Hollywood Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Down to half of their original lineup, the remaining members of Fishbone picked up the pieces after getting dropped from Arista and continued touring with the likes of 311 and De La Soul. After establishing a stable lineup, the band’s fortunes looked up when they managed to sign a deal with Hollywood Records. But Hollywood had something else up their sleeves; with the massive success of Santana’s star-studded comeback album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Supernatural, the label believed they could replicate the success with Fishbone and all their friends. So the band drafted in members of the Chili Peppers, Bad Brains, and No Doubt as well as Rick James, Donny freakin’ Osmond and many others in an attempt to recreate Santana’s record.

Several songs work, including “The Suffering” and the Funkadelic cover, “Shakey Ground,” which maintain Fishbone’s original sound without all the darkness that was so omnipresent on Chim Chim. This album is a much lighter affair than their previous effort and that’s a welcome relief. But unfortunately, not everything is a winner.

“Everybody Is A Star,” a Sly Stone cover with Gwen Stefani, just falls flat and doesn’t really feel part of their repertoire. “Where’d You Get Those Pants?,” originally titled “I’m A Weed Plant,” before Hollywood vetoed that idea is a stale, flat song missing that Fishbone spark. “AIDS & Armageddon,” a cover by songwriter David Baerwald, is an interesting track that became a dynamic part of the live show for years to come. “Dear God” is an interesting track that fits in more with the overall Fishbone vibe.

The production is a huge improvement over the compressed and rather dense sound of the last two records. But this whole record feels like it could’ve been so much better if Hollywood hadn’t forced their opinion down the band’s throat. In the end, the album bombed so badly that the band was dropped from the label by the end of 2000. It would be a few years before the band recovered enough to reenter the studio with a much stronger collection of tracks.

Rating: D

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