A definite warning sign of a band on the slide is any adoption of a faux persona, especially one with a comic-based animal basis.
That’s what Fishbone went for on this 1996 release. The band had been dumped by Sony, and two original members had departed. They presumably felt they had some point to prove, but they did themselves no service with the primate choice.
The album’s deceit is that the band can be seen as some mutant chimpanzee with various bizarre (and not particularly interesting) powers. The band seems to be drawing some analogy to their fight with ‘the man’, against ‘racism’ and against dullness.
That would all be fine and dandy and acceptable if the music behind their rants and eccentricities was enjoyable. Unfortunately, they lean towards the more irritating ska-funk attributes – horn blasts, juvenile lyrics (indeed, scat-obsessed on at least one track), ranty digressions – and fail to deliver much in terms of memorable, uplifting pieces.
The fall from grace here is a big one. I am tempted to explore the intervening effort and the pre-Reality works as this was a band with so much promise.
File under: Ass sandwich