After a long deliberation I have finally decided to write a review for this album for a number of reasons. Initially I had ruled against this due to my previous review, in which I stated my dislike of the singer. However, after stating that, I felt an instant regret and going back and listening to this album I can say these songs would only work with Edwin’s singing. As much as I like Byrne’s voice for the newer albums, I can’t honestly say that he is suitable for Scenery & Fish. Now, trying to maintain my objectivity despite my beliefs about Edwin, I write this review to bring an excellent album to people’s attention, if not for those who have not heard of this album, but for those who have cherished this album and could undoubtedly do a better job writing than I (which I implore someone to do).
The first track, Hello Dave!, is primarily an assortment of sounds with a lot of bongo playing over it, very strange but gives an eerie premonition of future songs ( oddly enough, I had imagined this track being a soundtrack to someone having a seizure, or at least if someone tried to dance to it, they’d look like they were having one).
The next five songs after are some of the best on the entire album, with intense songs like One More Astronaut, Three Days Old, and Used To Be Alright, then more quirky songs with Like A Girl and Another Sunday. Most recognizable is One More Astronaut, the song gives the feeling like you’ve been pushed into outer space while plummeting through a meteor shower with it’s racing guitar and pulsing bass line, spilling into a sublime instrumental segment with a blast of bongos and some spacey effects in the background. Three Days Old and Used To Be Alright are easily two of the catchiest songs on the album, the guitar riffs are first-rate on both tracks, I easily put Use To Be Alright on repeat for twenty minutes. Another Sunday is another familiar song for most people, acoustic sounding in the chorus, with a verse coming close to the pace of One More Astronaut. Like A Girl is a little cleaner sounding on the guitar, but the bass line is incredible, almost seems like he’s playing slap bass (could be wrong). What stands out with Like A Girl and Another Sunday are the lyrics, stuff about Jesus, his mom dressing him . . . well, like a girl, and I can only assume Another Sunday is about alien abduction.
The next three songs, Shortcut To Moncton, Pisser and Raspberry, hold many of the similar qualities of Three Days Old and Used To Be Alright, though these songs don’t sound the same, they hold each musician’s signature style, the funky guitar, driving, smooth and often thumping bass, and the always eclectic drumming. The tail end of this album has songs that seem to be more instrumental in content which is good with these guys behind the wheel, listening to them pound away and kind of straying from a more formulaic song structure.
This is a superior album and shouldn’t be overlooked, if you disagree or dislike this review . . . good, do something about it and write a better one.