Wiija Records, 1989
My last post about PRE reminded me of another brash British band fronted by a ferocious foreign female: the almighty obscenity-laced, tinnitus-enducing Silverfish. Legend has is that the UK-based band found their American screamer Lesley Rankine kicking the shit out of someone backstage at a punk show and knew instantly they’d found someone fierce enough to wail over their massively overamped racket. Released at the dawn of what would soon be known as the “grunge” era, alongside other noisy, thick-necked punk from Seattle from the likes of Mudhoney, Tad, and the Melvins, Silverfish approached music as a volume war with guitars hopelessly fuzzed out and distorted, with a rhythm section that added to the din, just barely forming the mess into songs. This debut 4-song EP kicks off with one of the most hilarious/righteously punk lead ins you’ll ever hear, as a sample of Dolly Parton singing “Jolene” gets interrupted by Rankine screeching “MOTHER FUCKER!” It’s a totally amazing and appropriate way to start this beast of a record. And it still makes me smile any time I hear it. Russ Meyer‘s Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill! even gets sampled, so you really know what wild ass angle they’re coming from. Touch and Go Records saw the light and reissued this record with 4 more songs as the Cockeye LP in 1990. I don’t know if I have a bad pressing or if the T&G version was remastered, but I’ve always preferred the mix on this EP as it’s so grotesquely trebly and in the red — a sound that’s become rather commonplace nowadays, but in 1989 it was unconventionally harsh, even for a band wading around the grunge pool.