Citizen Fish / Leftover Crack - Baby-Punchers / Meltdown Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Citizen Fish / Leftover Crack

Baby-Punchers / Meltdown Split [7-inch] (2006)

Fat Wreck Chords

In early 2007 Fat Wreck Chords and Alternative Tentacles released Deadline which was a split LP between ska-punk juggernauts Citizen Fish and Leftover Crack (the fact that it has been just over 10 years since that album came out is pretty mind-boggling). However in late 2006 Fat Wreck Chords released a small preview of the album which was a split 7-inch featuring one new (at the time) song from Leftover Crack called “Baby-Punchers” and one new song from Citizen Fish called “Meltdown.” These two tracks would go on to arguably be the tracks on Deadline.

Believe it or not the version of “Baby-Punchers” that is on this 7-inch is not the one on the album. One of the big draws to this song specifically is Jello Biafra’s guest appearance where we does a spoken word interlude about consumerism. That is nowhere to be found on this 7-inch. Instead Sturgeon goes off on a brief rant about economic inequality. While Sturgeon’s tangent is not as polished as Jello’s spoken word piece, it does make this anthem reminiscent of the early Mediocre Generica material which is definitely not a bad thing. But this version of “Baby-Punchers” still has the tinny ska parts, throaty lead vocals from Sturgeon, big gang backing vocals and provocative lyrics that Leftover Crack have become very well known for.

“Meltdown” is some of Citizen Fish’s best work. Like “Baby-Punchers” this track has very politically charged lyrics as well, but they focus much more on the environment. And while the lyrical content is a bit more on the depressing side, the song itself is very up beat. It’s filled with a very bright horn section and aggressive vocals from Dick Lucas. Of course you get the up stroke parts for the most part coming from the guitar, but a really great touch is when the guitar player mimics the main horn parts and towards the end when the guitarist plays these screeching bends in place of where typically chords would be.

Regardless of what opinion you have of Deadline, it is hard to deny that both “Baby-Punchers” and “Meltdown” are two great ska-punk jams. I don’t think it would be fair to write this 7-inch off completely. In fact this release stands out quite well in both bands’ discographies.