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Give a Monkey a Brain and He'll Swear He's the Center of the Universe

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Album Review

Fishbone's standard careening eclecticism is refined on Give a Monkey a Brain. Instead of freely flowing between different styles, as they did on The Reality of My Surroundings, the band's sound is reigned in (presumably in an attempt to make Fishbone palatable for the mainstream), making the album impressively diverse but frustrating; they never cut loose like they do in almost all of their concerts. Nevertheless, there's enough good material here to make it worthwhile for dedicated fans.


Formed: 1979 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining equal parts of deep funk, high-energy punk, and frantic ska, the Los Angeles-based Fishbone was one of the most distinctive and eclectic alternative rock bands of the late '80s. With their hyperactive, self-conscious diversity, goofy sense of humor, and sharp social commentary, the group gained a sizable cult following during the late '80s, yet they were never able to earn a mainstream audience. Led by vocalist/saxophonist Angelo Moore, the band formed in 1979 while the members were still...
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