Fishsticks - Disko (Cover Artwork)


Disko (1999)


Fishsticks were a band from the 90's who essentially wanted to make people believe they weren't, so they basically jotted down the blueprints of first generation hardcore punk and followed them step-by-step. The term 'punk by numbers' may not have been invented for this band specifically, but Fishsticks seem to fit the bill quite well.

They were around for quite some time apparently, and although I'm not too familiar with their history, I do know that this is a collection Theologian released in 1999 that collects most (if not all) of their recorded works. Most of the songs are under 30 seconds long and feature only four or five lines from the vocalist, some shotty guitar work, and the same drum beat over and over on every song, which may or may not be good, depending on how much you love punk music.

Disko collects 31 tracks in just 16 minutes, but the first half of it really isn't any good at all. I'm not sure if this is in chronological order, and it's hard to tell if you're not a diehard -- the band barely improved sonically, so there's no distinct differences in their sound over the years. However, if it is, it would make sense -- the first 20 tracks aren't really any good, but after that, this album is complete gold. If tracks 21-end were made later in their career, it shows the band at a stage of maturation. Out of nowhere, it seems like they obtained the ability to have somewhat good songs. However, anything good that this band does is overshadowed by the fact that these songs are insanely short -- they don't have any time to develop and seem like they were written and recorded in one take. If the band actually took the time to lengthen their songs enough to finish a single idea, they would have been the next MDC. Instead, they're just another forgotten band that Theologian has failed to bring to life, even after issuing an extensive discography. Pity.

Check out tracks 21, 24, 30, and 31 (a nice, short Misfits cover). They're the best examples of what this band has to offer. I'm sure Fishsticks were much more effective in 7" format where you weren't overexposed to 30 second bursts of someone farting into a microphone. Maybe i'm not punk enough for this release, or maybe my taste is just too broad.