Citizen Fish - Manmade [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Citizen Fish

Manmade [10-inch] (2015)

Bluurg Records

It’s been a few years since long-running ska punk act Citizen Fish have released some new material, but this summer they came out with a five-track EP that is comprised of four new songs and one dub.

Manmade is a very politically and environmentally aware release. The four new songs focus mainly on those who are in denial about climate change and try to block any changes that could be made to combat it. Citizen Fish viciously counterattacks with lyrics like “Another forecast on the human race/ As the panic comes back for another day/And drilling more pollution/ Leaking radiation into the ocean” in the title track and “Blinkers on the world is led by idiots in suits/ Who don’t believe in global warming, human rights, or evolution” in “World’s Gone Mad.”

Though the messages in the lyrics of these songs are really in the spotlight of this EP, there is not a lot that stands out musically here. Now to be fair, I personally am not all that into reggae and slower ska songs. Some of you may like that kind of style (so I’ll try to be diplomatic), but it shows up quite a bit on Manmade and that’s what makes this EP drag at times. A lot of the musical elements are very simple drums beats and guitar chord progressions and repetitious brass parts, especially on the title track and “World’s Gone Mad.”

The liveliest track on Manmade is “Face To Face.” The song starts off slow, but it picks up speed and energy when the horns play the main hook, while the lightly distorted guitar follows along. Lyrically “Face To Face” is also very socially conscience. It’s filled with lines like, “Well I’m a piece of data/ And you’re in a computer/ I never thought of it that way/ Because that people that we meet are really much more complete than all the info stored away.”

Overall, Manmade is a solid EP. The band really focused a lot on making the lyrics as politically, socially and environmentally enlightening as possible. And as cleverly written as the lyrics are, musically it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill ska EP. It doesn’t seem like there was a whole lot of effort or creativity that went into this release in that respect.

You can check this EP out here.