Citizen Fish - Goods (Cover Artwork)

Citizen Fish

Citizen Fish: GoodsGoods (2011)
Alternative Tentacles

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Since 1980, Dick Lucas, the lead singer for Citizen Fish, has released at least 22 full-lengths, 13 EPs, and innumerable singles. Although he was one of the original anarcho-punks, he's still preaching his energetic, anti-capitalism admonitions long after Crass, Anthrax, Poison Girls, Flux of Pink I.
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Since 1980, Dick Lucas, the lead singer for Citizen Fish, has released at least 22 full-lengths, 13 EPs, and innumerable singles. Although he was one of the original anarcho-punks, he's still preaching his energetic, anti-capitalism admonitions long after Crass, Anthrax, Poison Girls, Flux of Pink Indians and Antisect have ceased their assault on the corporate world. On Goods, Lucas and the rest of Citizen Fish seem to acknowledge that they might be losing the battle.

The cover of Goods states that even human emotions have become commodities, and from the lyrics, things are getting worse. Lucas announces that even he is a product on the shelf, both winking towards the homogenization of music as well as distancing himself from the scene. Subtlety has never interested the Fish, and they prefer to hit you over the head with the brick, urging people to "wake up" and trouncing the illusion of free speech. But, while mere sloganeering can get old fast, the band delivers its lyrics with such purpose and bona fide intention that they prove that bricks can do what reserved metaphors can't.

As is par for the course, the band rampages through the album mixing early hardcore punk with ska. Notably, the Citizen Fish version of ska seems equally informed by 2 tone as it does third wave: The tempo gallops along with clean upstrokes, but the horns are kept warm instead of being devices of pure blare, giving some of the tunes an almost soulful feel. While the album does keep a heavy finger on the ska scene, every so often the band dips into '40s jazz or driving metal, which makes the sudden changes that much more powerful.

The band cuts one of their most effective tunes they have ever recorded on "Marker Pen". Lucas spins a tale about the dreaded descent into a retirement and spits out a deceptively simple story that almost feels like he copped the idea and delivery from Dr. Seuss. But, of course, the Seuss didn't write about subverting the state*. Jasper, Matt and Alex combine their bass, trombone and trumpet into a singular sound, much in the manner of Philadelphia soul, and bring life to the song's subject, raising him from a eulogy to flesh and blood.

According to Goods, things don't look good. The outsourcing of jobs to areas rife with human rights violations is more prevalent than ever. The elderly get trounced upon. Even you, reader, aren't a person–you're a carbon-based commodity used for furthering economic goals. Citizen Fish and their ilk might be railing against these injustices, but after 31 years, ground is being lost. But hey, if we're all going down or getting shoved in boxes, why not do it to a jumpy ska tune, at least?

* - or did he...


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
oldKOOL (May 25, 2011)

Have you ever heard of Op Ivy or Rancid? Have you ever heard this band called Sublime? Do you know about how these musicians have changed the sounds of music all the way to Top 40 charts??? Yet with all this skill and influence, they have not changed the message... they come out show after show and blow the young fans away, chillin out with the fans and sharing the inspiration of handmade original art and ideological resistance to a tasteless and insane society. This reginald twat can suck a stone... sorry dick didn't want to meet you, you pervy little freak (and not in a good way)... and thanks for suggesting some sleepy dub music for "ska" to replace this gem of an outfit that has rocked and will rock the scene for years... Shows how much you know. You clearly have some silly personal vendatta, I'm sorry your daddy didn't like you.

SmartChris (May 3, 2011)

Yep - Seems like Reggie's a stalker: sick, twisted and he really has NO IDEA WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT!!! And no, I haven't been paid to say that....

natesice (April 16, 2011)

Reggie sounds like a stalker. I think Dick is wise to steer clear of him. Citizen Fish and Subhumans both still kick ass! I have seen them more times than Reggie has posted over inflated know it all comments on punk blogs. These guys give it all each and every time they go out! I can't believe they are still doing it and I for one am greatful that they still do it. Citizen Fish is the best show out there. It really makes me happy to see the new young kids show up every year it gives this "old" man a little hope for a losing battle.

ReggiePerrin (April 11, 2011)

I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me, you shall follow me blindly. To the previous reviewer, hope Citizen Fish are paying you enough for this over-hyped appraisal of them. The sacrosanct crap and religious zealotry of punk rock is getting really tedious. Citizen Fish and their ‚??goods‚?Ě regurgitate the same tired formula musically and lyrically and it was mediocre in the first place. Have no talent or imagination? Just imitate the black person‚??s music, it‚??s a foolproof formula! ‚??High octane dynamic delivery‚?Ě??? What drugs are you on, cos I want to try some as well?

Please note that I have seen Citizen Fish and Subhumans live too many times in too many places. I have exchanged more words with Dick Lucas face to face and online than you had hot dinners. Having struggled with communication, the man once wrote in an email to me ‚??sorry for the delay, its sort of what im like, rather than 'meaningful'‚?Ě. He also told me he does not go out much and would do with meeting some people in 3D. So when I suggested we meet, he said yes, even gave me his telephone number but when I went all the way to Bath he was a no-show. I ring him and he tells me he forgot on Saturday. When I insist, he comes but is too shaky, ill at ease and petrified to even shake my hand and there is no ‚??I‚??m sorry‚?Ě only ‚??what are you doing here coming 100 miles to Bath?‚?Ě

He has beliefs, so does BNP. Once hyped up enough and drunk he gets on stage and raves and rants at people but that‚??s the limit of his beliefs. Dick has social phobia brought about by too many hours spent in the fantasy world of the alternative celebrity and MySpace and without some Jack Daniels he is too scared to approach and to talk to people, let alone be at the front line of anything (unless you mean the line to the little boy‚??s room). And don‚??t even mention the ancient history of poll tax riots because this is laughable. People I know who like me have been doing political stuff all these years have vaguely or not at all heard of Dick Lucas. And if the mindless twaddle you reiterate is how he makes you ‚??think‚?Ě, then gods help me.

SmartChris (March 14, 2011)

Reggie doesn't know what he's talking about - has he ever seen Citizen Fish play live, read any of the superb lyrics and actually listened to 'Goods' or any Fish albums come to that? This is a band who have the unique ability to make people think, rather than hate or spew unfounded poison so it strikes me he hasn't. The fact he's put they're fat and flabby (er, Dick, Silas and Jasper fat????? Jeez) kinda proves it and resorting to ignorant and downright bitchy sniping doesn't offer any useful info or considered criticism at all. Besides which, they have a history of being on the front line (I remember Dick at the Poll Tax riots for one). Anyhoo, don't listen to a bitter, twisted hater like Reggie, make up your own mind. 'Goods' is a fantastic album - every song a masterpiece of energetic sound and punchy lyrics that delivers a fresh insight into these 'insane' times we live in. Their best yet and can't wait to see the new songs live as this is where the band really shine as the best punk/ska outfit ever with a high octane dynamic delivery that kicks into oblivion from the opening few seconds any absurd notion that this is a bunch of old geezers hanging on for the sake of a few quid. Belief and talent abound - can Reggie say even a tenth as much about anything he's done? I seriously doubt it...

StraightToHell82 (March 7, 2011)

Listened to it this weekend... a few pretty kick-ass songs, some alright ones, and a few stinky duds.


skankin_in_the_pit (March 3, 2011)

Who knew somebody could be so against Citizen Fish? Gig money? I've seen them play in the desert running on a generator and in someones living room.

Whatever. I can't wait to hear this.

Half_Idiot (March 3, 2011)

I'd rather have a pile of pants than no pants, but that's just me.

ReggiePerrin (March 3, 2011)

The album is a pile of pants and a waste of money. It ain't 'good' - it's just endless recycling the same pre-fabricrated formulae for easy success. A bunch of white guys does some half-arsed version of 2-tone. If you want good ska - go listen to Hakuna Pesa - a band half the age and with four times the engery of this bunch of old half-wits. Sometimes age equals maturity and getting better at what you do but in the case of Citizan Fish - it's just a bunch of guys ripping off the same old idea again and again. As for political suss - if yer looking for a band whose members you might find on the front-line of a riot - it ain't these guys - they'll be in their van travelling the length and breadth of the country looking for their easy hand-out in the form of gig money. No beliefs, no talent - just fat flabby forty year-olds cluttering up the stages and making it hard for any new stuff to come through. Spend yer money down the pub before you spend yer money on this lot (or go see Hakuna Pesa).

Half_Idiot (March 2, 2011)

I'm going to try to pick this up some time this week, it's been too long since the last real album.

One of the biggest shames in punk is that Antisect never finished the second LP "Welcome To The New Dark Ages." The songs from bootlegs all sound like monsters.

johngentile (March 1, 2011)

Misanthrope, thanks for taking an interest. Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthrax_(UK_band)

Misanthropee (March 1, 2011)


Also, Crass Collective members are still involved in activist/anarchist art and culture, just not through punk rock.

StraightToHell82 (March 1, 2011)

To unfortunately go against the comment below me, I thought their side of the Deadline split was just god-awful.... total garbage. (LOC's side wasn't really that great either... all around, disappointing split).

However, I got this a few days ago, and I'll give it a fair chance. I'll get back to everyone that doesn't care what I think soon.

FLHC (March 1, 2011)

Is this out already? Can't wait to hear it, their side of Deadline was great

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