REVIEW: Neurotic Fish - "Sushi"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

SushiWith all of the electronic dance music floating around, choosing the cream from the crop is getting tougher simply because of so many selections to choose from. Due to this onslaught some artists are over hyped while others that are seemingly more interesting seem to get lost in the crowd. If you happen to have a few DJ friends, finding music that fills the growing desire for this genre can be a monumental and expensive task.

Dancing Ferret Discs recently released Sushi from the band Neurotic Fish, which is a compendium of 13 tracks gleaned from the Wake Me Up! EP, the Velocity N1 single, and the M.F.A.P.L. single. Rather than being an actual full album in the traditional sense, this simply culminates what is tantamount to the best tracks featured previously on an EP and 2 singles. Now, they are maintained in a convenient location on one CD. What troubles me though, is where was this work when it was first released and why did so few of us hear about it until now? At any rate, this is a fun CD for the dance music crowd, and worthy of a purchase.

Care starts as a mournful ballad that is given an electro chorus that sounds as though it was carved from the muse from Clan of Xymox. The medium groove is interspersed with dark and mournful strains which will work for home playing, but most likely won't receive much club play due to the lack of the prerequisite BPM's that most club patrons seem to be demanding these days. Rotten begins with spoken German dialogue, sounding as though it came from a Star Wars film. This track is also a medium tempo, trip hop style. The interspersed electronic effects keep this track from sounding mundane.

Velocity utilized beautiful vocal harmony with a track that clocks in at around 140 BPM. The Club edit of this same track chose to utilize more spatial sounds and percussive beats during the intro rather than coming right in with the vocals, allowing beat mixers enough of a break to get the song into the evening's set list. Neurocaine is an interesting play on words, which does indeed depict what the song is about. The prerequisite BPM are here throughout the track, but it does have a backing sound that is rather ominously close to the Giorgio Moroder/Donna Summer song I Feel Love that was a major hit some years back.

M.F.A.P.L. starts with the quarter beat and bubbling percussion from the opening which takes a balls to the wall tribal groove and sieves it through an electronic mixmaster. The vocals are given more phasing and harmony, which simply helps to carry this track. There are slower segues in parts of the track which may or may not drive the beat matching DJ's nuts as it slows down the floor, but overall the track is not a bad one to feature at the height of the night. All I Say opens with what sounds like gunshots that segues into a funereal dirge. The vocals are tweaked and phased to sound as though they are bending in their reverberation. Although this is also a medium to slow tempo, it does pick up the electronics to convey the essence of the song and is a bit more original than much of what is out on the market at present. Black Again V3: as a goth you know the name of the track appeals to me, but I digress. Rather than providing a mawkish excursion into over dramatic bleakness, the intro gently percolates with a mid tempo beat that is layered under vocals that are once again electronically enhanced and harmonized.

Overall, the CD was a far cry better than much of what has crossed this desk as of late. The prerequisite dance grooves are evident in the number of tracks. Even on the slower tracks, there still remained a high level of interest that would allow this CD to go on repeat rotation despite the multiple mixes of similar tracks that are available on it. Clearly, Don't Wake Me Up stands as the big hit of the CD. In the final analysis, this will fall into the legendary EBM category that you can assure will be on someone's compilation of Greatest EBM hits 20 years from now.

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