welcome back to the Skaject folks! our record this week is Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe, released by Fishbone in 1993, and is the last record released with their original lineup.

this record kicks off with some weight for sure. Swim aint really my style, but its a neat song about diving into the mosh pit. Servitude brings in some more ornate guitar work and some mellower vocal delivery for a critique of obedience to colonial powers. i like this one quite a bit. Black Flowers is quite moving – an extremely heavy ballad. they bring some ska influences back in with Unyielding Conditioning, which i also really enjoy. cool song about the ways modern society really tries to drive a sense of community and empathy out of people. Properties of Propaganda (Fuk This Shit Up) is a downright funky song. they had some fun with this one. The Warmth of Your Breath is a WILD anti-cop song. they turn the energy way the fuck up and go all out on the this one. i like this a lot but its not an “all the time” kinda song. i saw some discussion that Lemon Meringue is a track about heroin – definitely see the “too sweet but with a sinister side” vibes here for sure. They All Have Abandoned Their Hopes is a track about gentrification and capitalist destruction of neighborhoods in the search of profits. End the Reign is a pretty good track with a hell of a hook. Drunk Skitzo reminds me quite a bit of the Primus ive heard, primarily in the usage of the bass. i think the back half of the song, the slow unravelling with the “am i going crazy, or is it the world around me?” repeated suggests the track is less about folks with mental illness and more about the way mental illness fits into a larger structure (which yknow, makes sense with the focus of the rest of the record). there’s a kind of measured resolve in No Fear that i really like. big big big fan of this track positioned here near the end of the record. Nutt Megalomaniac is a funny track filled with euphemism and more direct sexual statements, haha. a very fun song, with some killer bass, to close things out.

faves – Servitude, Unyielding Conditioning,
dislikes –

they start this record off with a pretty clear message, that they are equally if not more interested in exploring metal and hardcore sounds than some of the ska sounds found elsewhere on the record. def makes for a strong opening to the record, but there are parts of this that dont connect for me. i would still recommend giving this record a shot – thematically i really enjoyed digging into the lyrics, and i think its a very strong package, but one i just find good and not excellent.

Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe – 7/10

next week we’ll be checking out a new band with Hepcat’s Out of Nowhere!

previous: Don’t Know How to Party | next: Out of Nowhere

previous Fishbone release: The Reality of My Surroundings | next: Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge

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