Though Phish by many are said to have poor lyrics (Great, by others), it's albums like Junta that show that all they wanted to do is jam and have fun. And when you think about it, that is basically what Jam Bands are about. Like "Were going to do our thing, and if you enjoy it, great" and that is why Jam Bands usually do not hit the mainstream, and are cult groups. JOON - ta, not HUNTA - ta, (Named after a good friend) was not Phish's first official release. Their first, entitled The White Tapes
or oddly enough The White Album
was never released to the public through a record company. So, in a way, Junta
is Phish's first album.
is strongly based on jamming, definatley more so than any other Phish album. The album also gives off a very real sound, similar to how a bands first album usually is. Mainly because at this time, their were simply a couple of Vermont dorm room pals who just liked to jam. Money really wasn't a must, cathing fame (Especially from a Jam Band) were very unrealilistic. But luckily Phish managed to break into the mainstream and put a scar into it, unlike anyone has really done before.
"Fee", a latin influenced, piano driven track is one of my favorites just because of it's odd recording. Trey actually attempts to sing some long, smooth notes, which he executes nicely. The song contains various solos, mostly from Page on the piano. And the tune tells a story of a weasel named Fee, who tries to live a live that is completley free. The lyrics incoporate some humorous lines, one being "Floyd is dead; he's nothing but a ripple. Cause Milly took that paper, and sliced him on the nipple". Overall, it's a great song. 5/5
You Enjoy Myself
This supposable fan favorite is a great nine minute jam. Full of great rythm, and plenty of solos. The song suprising only contains six lines in it's lyrics that are in English. Those would be, "Boy, "Man", "God", "****", "Boy Man", and "Boy Man". The standout solo in my opinion is around four and half minutes, when Trey throws out a solo that, in my opinion, almost goes over the top. Great jam, odd lyrics. 4/5
"Esther" is opened with Page playing an organ, sounding very much like the organ playing at a baseball game. The song has some odd lyrics, about person named Esther. The 9:21 jam is very different, everything flows like it's just one sound, but each member is playing. Very hard to describe. 3.5/5
Here is a great, fun number with a great groove. The chorus is quite powerful, and the verse is just moderate. Trey and Page give off some great interludes and fills, which gives the song quite a spark. Not much more to really say. 4/5
The opening to this track shows Mike's ability to slap and pop. Though he shows his skills much better on other tracks on other albums. One being "Poor Heart" from A Picture of Nectar
, or "Ghost" from The Story of the Ghost
. For a while the track contains no guitar playing, and only the rythm section. And the vocals, which are occasionally performed by each member seem to be stack (Which is a recording method that makes several voices together sound smooth). 4/5
Dinner and a Movie
"Dinner and a Movie" along with "Fluffhead" are probably the closet to being a regular lengthed track on the album. The song, once again, only contains a small number of lyrics. Which is actually ten. Those lyrics are "Let's go out and see a movie". Not exactly single material, but still okay. 3.5/5
The Divided Sky
Here is a beautiful acoustic, with some nice xylophone playing, and incredible bass lines. The vocals at certain points (mainly the chorus) are sang by the whole group. Which is interesting to hear, being that each of their voices have a different tone. All the lyrics sang are simply "The divided sky, the wind blows high". And soon after the singing is finished, Trey changes to electric. Overall, the song also includes a rather long jam with a fabulous guitar solo, and many tempo changes. Fabulous jam. 4/5
"David Bowie" obviously named after the musician, is definatley a fan favorite, and is commonly played at concerts. The song's simple lyrics "David Bowie, UB40", are strongly backed up by a faublous Latin like groove. Which includes many tempo changes, Mike playing slap, Trey's melodic style, Page's ability to play lead and rythm very well, and Fishman's aggressive and perfect drumming. Like many of the songs on Junta
, 5/5 for a Jam lover, 1/5 for a Jam hater.
"Fluffhead", the first track to start off the second disc, and is actually the shortest track. Running at 3:24, you could actually imagine this being played on the radio. Rythmicly, this is my favorite song on both discs. Page plays lead, and Trey holds back on the acoustic, while Mike and Fish acompany him. The lyrics are mediocre compared to their more recent, better lyrics. 5/5
"Fluffhead" carries on into "Fluff's Travels" as though it's only one song. The continued track opens with Trey playing an acoustic solo. Trey also throws in many interludes, and several other solos. The bass is rather hard to hear, but if you turn up the bass it is easily heard that Mike is a fantastic bassist, and highly underrated. After about two and a half minutes Trey switched to electric and performs that way through the rest of the 11:35 track. Around 4:50, the band starts singing lyrics together. And the lyrics are very random and odd. Ex. "Tipsy fuddled boozy groogy elevated, prim did edit her. Hellborn elfchild roadhog mountain fortune hunter, man beheaded her." Great song and jam. 4.5/5
It's songs like these that make you (atleast me) feel that Phish can be seen playing anywhere and they would fit in. Like I wouldn't be suprised to be hearing a song like "Contact" in lounge or restaurant. Musically, I like this song more than any other on the album. It contains a great solo, which includes Mike and Page going at it at the same time. 4/5
The first of the three bonus tracks added in 1992. "Union Federal" is the longest track on the album, running at 25:31. It opens with some terrible trombone playing by Fish mixed with Mike's good bass playing. The mix slowly cuts off, and then the song is led by Mike and Page. Soon enough each member joins in. The song is recorded live, but the album does not state where. The track is also one-hundred percent jammed, including no lyrics, or skat, or noises, or whatever. 2/5 The track just doesn't excite me.
"Sanity" was recorded live at Nectar's, which is the bar the band got their start at. Phish also named their album A Picture of Nectar
, after the bar's owner, and friend of Phish named Nectar. The playing and lyrics are quite leisure, that is until about 2:42 where Trey adds a lot of distorion. The song is also quite funny, being that the band adds in some humorous lyrics, and because Trey occasionally screws up singing because he is laughing. The song kind of reminds me of a Mothers of Invention song. 4/5
"Icculus" was also recorded live at Nectar's, apparently at the same date that "Sanity" was. The song opens up with Trey saying " We're going to lighten it up a bit.". He then continues by saying "This isn't really a stupid song (Refering to the previous played song", this is a special song, this is an imporant song, this is a dance song, this is....this is RED ROCKS, THIS IS THE EDGE!!!! I don't really know what he means by that, but it is still quite humorous. The song's main character Icculus (obviously similar to Icurus) is "The great and knowledgable, the philosopher, and the author of the great and friendly book" The song and band goes on to annoy the audience with the anticaption of knowing who they are talking about (Because they described Icculus before saying his name), and other hilarious antics. 5/5
Overall, the album gives off so many great jams, and some great humorous lyrics. Very interesting album 4/5.