196. Cuddlefish – “If I Could Sometimes Take The Lining Of My Stomach And Make Wings I’d Fly”

In the tiny world of bands who frequented the Candle Records label, these guys were always the odd ones out.

Album Cover Cuddlefish If I Could Sometimes Take The Lining Of My Stomach And Make Wings I'd FlyAlthough they ticked the ‘predominantly acoustic’ and ‘Australian’ boxes, they lacked the requisite pop sensibilities, and presented as more on the ‘smelly hippy’ side of the folk-rock community.

As such, I was never particularly enamoured by them, and only picked up this CD as part of the run-out sale when the label was closing-up shop.  I’m not even sure I gave it a spin until yesterday.

I can’t say I’ve got much positive to say.  This is underproduced, underexciting material.  The main driver sound-wise is an undynamic violin and plinky-plonky vocal harmonisation.  Most of the songs have no lingering capacity (beyond the upbeat Airy Day).

For those of you who were close followers of bands around Melbourne in the mid-late 1990s, these guys can be described as much more North Fitzroy (think the Empress Hotel) than mainstreet Fitzroy (i.e. The Punters).  For modern punters, that probably translates as Northcote cafe rather than Collingwood bar.

There were other bands who did this sort of stuff so much better, like Treehouse and Nude Rain. Seek them out.

An aside: this CD is packaged very well with a cool cloth CD sleeve and a funky folded lyric sheet.  If you wanna buy it off me, please email.

File under: The inverse relationship between album title length and content quality continues.

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3 responses to “196. Cuddlefish – “If I Could Sometimes Take The Lining Of My Stomach And Make Wings I’d Fly”

  1. man, that’s harsh.

    still, i guess it’s just your opinion. and while some of the album makes me cringe, i think there are some solid songs on there as well.

    for the record though (this page is one of the first to come up with a google for ‘cuddlefish review’) it was produced by Dave Nelson who also recorded Treehouse and Nude Rain – so I’m not exactly sure what you mean by underproduced. i think we made an effort to retain a natural sound, which makes it sound different to something highly compressed and normalised.

    that also makes me wonder about calling it an undynamic violin (same violin player in Treehouse, btw)… do you mean there’s no variation in amplitude? or something else?

    on the plus side, i guess you did rank us above clapton.

    for the curious still reading, you can listen to and download the whole cuddlefish catalogue on last.fm
    http://www.last.fm/music/Cuddlefish/+albums

    you never know, you might enjoy some of it. tracks 3-7,11 and 19 i still like. don’t think i’ll tell you which ones make me cringe!

    oh, and if you want to get rid of your CD, there’s somebody on Discogs.com that wants it:
    http://www.discogs.com/Cuddlefish-If-I-Could-Sometimes-Take-The-Lining-Of-My-Stomach-And-Make-Wings-Id-Fly/release/1613008

    david

    ps. i think you should replace the word ‘negative’ with ‘inverse’ in your File under section.

    great idea for a blog btw. hope you get to the end of your collection.

    oh, and in other news, there’s a new Cuddlefish band in Canberra! nothing to do with us.

    • Hi David, it is always a little intimidating (and humbling) for me to hear from an artist. Thank you so much for your insights and the useful links. Am I right in remembering you as also a member of Treehouse? Now there’s a band whose back catalogue I’d love to find more of.

      And I have now change the “file under” in light of your comment.

  2. yep, i did a tour with Treehouse playing trumpet. was great fun. the brilliant Andy Paps was playing bass on that gig.

    not sure where you might find old recordings…

    there’s a whole bunch of old melbourne bands i’d love to hear again. Wally Gunn has a lot of his old recordings up on last.fm as well… must try and encourage others to do it too.

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