Country Joe And The Fish
Electric Music for the Mind and Body


4.0
excellent

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (90 Reviews)
November 19th, 2012 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Light up, get comfortable, and chill out with Country Joe.

Country Joe and The Fish, a psychedelic rock band from the late 60's, certainly had something of a political agenda. The band name itself is based upon a combination of Joseph Stalin's nickname and a quote from the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong. They were most well known for their anti-war song "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" but there was a whole lot more to their music than that particularly whimsical psychedelic rock meets oompah band mashup.

While this debut release has a fair helping of formulaic 60's psychedelia there is an extra dimension to their sound compared to many of their contemporaries. This is exemplified on 'Section 43', a subtly mesmerising 7 minutes of snaky organ melodies, meandering bass lines and hypnotic eastern tinged guitar passages. 'Bass Lines' has a similar 'light up and chill' vibe to it with its psyched-out trippy vocals, tremeloed guitar licks and loose swaying rhythm. This isn't all laid back psychedelic jams though. The more light-hearted side of the band comes to the fore on several numbers including bluesy album opener 'Flying High', a trippy tale of a hitch-hiker's journey featuring typically throwaway lines such as 'I took out my harp and I played 'em a tune, I could see they were diggin' it,Then the one with the fez, well he turns and he sez, We'd like to help you make your trip'. The whimsical themes continue on the likeable 'Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine' who apparently 'hides in an attic concealed on a shelf, behind volumes of literature based on herself'. There is a confidence and surety about the band's performance on here, and indeed throughout the whole album, that belies the fact that this was their debut release. The music exhibits a wonderful looseness and meandering quality which results in it becoming quite captivating after a few listens.

This is a highly enjoyable trip from start to finish. The restrained backdrop of distorted guitars, bluesy licks and inventive organ melodies throughout the music induce a wonderful sense of detached mellowness in the listener. The band went on to release another strong album in the form of 'I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die' but this debut probably stands as their finest moment. If you fancy some good old fashioned 60's psych to chill out to Country Joe is your man.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2012


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Asked for my joke Muse review to be deleted so did this little one to hit the 50 again. Great album check it out if you like 60's psych.

Section 43 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6MKfmjCDkU
Bass Strings - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjoSM4uDcGM

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Ethics
November 19th 2012


4112 Comments


yesssss, menawati is back

COUNTRY JOE IS MY MAN

OmairSh
November 19th 2012


11163 Comments


"inventive organ melodies throughout " Okay this has got me tempted.

Congrats on the 50......Again :P

Digging: Gazpacho - Night

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2012


4435 Comments


Oh man, it's been some time since I've heard this band. Very underrated group from the 60's California scene. Good work on the review Menawati, this definitely needed one.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2012


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, too short I know but at least it has got a rev now ;]

CaptainDooRight
November 19th 2012


29439 Comments


pos because light up

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2012


19794 Comments


yay yay yay

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

wacknizzle
November 19th 2012


13389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review Menawati. I've been trying to listen to this since forever and wow it's really good, thanks for the reminder!

Digging: Torch Runner - Endless Nothing

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2012


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thankyou guys

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2012


7397 Comments


Great review. Pos'd hard.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

YoYoMancuso
November 19th 2012


11107 Comments


gonna have to check this. pos'd hard

Cygnatti
July 19th 2013


21352 Comments


sounds amazing so far

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Cygnatti
January 27th 2014


21352 Comments


love the twinkles, man

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 11th 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

porpoise mouth, what a sweet song



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