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Food For Other Fish

Food For Other Fish

3 Jul 2001

£9.49 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 July 2001
  • Release Date: 3 July 2001
  • Label: Mesa BlueMoon Recordings
  • Total Length: 1:05:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N372B8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,403 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Ranks with "Sgt Pepper" & "Getz/Gilberto", 1 of the greatest 26 July 2001
By W. B. Abbott - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I bought this disc when it came out and it was stunning then and remains stunning now. "My Black Bag" and "Honey Bomb" have a raging delerium that instantly differentiates them from anything you've heard before. "Ocean Beach" is a lyrical portrait that should have been a hit single, "The Drift" a surf workout that subverts classic surf while paying homage (If The Mermen can find so much delight and surprise in this genre, why can't others?) "Raglan" is a sweet, Celtic-spiced tune that fits completely, but shows the band's amazing breadth, placed between the ambient chamber music of, "Be My Noir" and the up-tempo rocker, "The Silly Elephant That Stomped to Tea".

There's not a bad tune or a wasted bar on this whole CD. I'm serious about the headline- its like "Sgt. Pepper" or "Getz/Gilberto" or Brubeck's "Take Five", Bela Fleck and the Flecktones "Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo", Ormandy and Fox's recording of Saint-Saens' Symphony Number 3, Martha Argerich playing Rachmaninoff's Concerto for Piano number 3, Jai Uttal's "Monkey", Strunz & Farah "Live", or David Grisman's "Mondo Mando"- however you define intense, expressive, timeless music, this is more. In spades.

The Mermen blend the technique of psychedlic rock with the intensity of classical and jazz composition. No boogie-ing on, no solos over vamps. On this, their first CD, composer/guitarist Jim Thomas, bassist Allen Whitman and drummer Martyn Jones captured their live sound in a set of songs that they had been playing for the previous decade. Most of this disc was played live into a 2 track DAT recorder. I saw them then, and they really were that good. Perfect in one take.

Thomas' devotion to clean sound was at its height, whether playing sweetly and gently or juggling raw electricity like Jimi Hendrix or Duane Allman. He sounds like an angel who learned to play surf but couldn't quite forget the heavenly choir. Even as he pulls you into a curling feedback tube and lets it collapse in a million droplets of howling noise around you. Thomas's music is, without question, *about* the sea, about surfing. No band has been better named. This disc is the great surf novel, expressing in music a range of emotions and images that might be impossible to find words for.

Whitman's bass playing is a brilliant foil for Thomas here- carrying some or all of the melody some times, providing counterpoint. The way bass and guitar trade melodic lines, the way all three instruments take turns supporting rhythm or melody is miles and miles beyond anyone else playing 'surf music'. "Ocean Beach" is a case in point- the song is essentially a bass solo supported by guitar solos. Forget Dick Dale, Laika and the Cosmonauts, etc, etc. Whitman was the best bassist working in this field in those days and resets your expectations forever after.

Martyn Jones' drumming combines relaxed competence with a cymbal sound that is so close to crashing surf that the effect cannot be accidental. As much as the 'surf' flavor of the melody and playing, Jones' spare and dynamic drumming conveys the feel of the sea. He starts some songs, ends some songs and adds that one extra touch that makes a good song great- the ska-like rim-shots at the end of "Ocean Beach" for example. The shimmering AND ticking cymbals, and dramatic rolls, that make "Be My Noir" such a delight.

Listen to this record. Buy this record. Find something you love as much as these men loved this music, and maybe you'll be lucky enough to create something a fraction as beautiful.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Classic! 21 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Mermen are an original. Jim Thomas should be credited as one of the great innovators on the guitar. Their music is unique. It is powerful, visceral, yet lyrical, and sweet. It is music to charm the gods! I always think of the painting Bacchus and Ariadne, by Titian--Ariadne arising from her sleep to discover the White Sails of Perseus disappearing over the horizon--while Bacchus and his troupe of merry satyrs is pulling up in a chariot drawn by a leopards, while half naked revellers leap about. Anyway--the Mermen seem to occupy the same mythological space.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another World 26 Feb 2014
By James Briggs - Published on
Verified Purchase
It's hard to explain. The only only way you will know is to listen. It can be listened to or set as background music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good But Not My Favorite of Theirs 13 Sep 2011
By Matt Kubilus - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You can never really go wrong with a Mermen album, but this one is probably not their most approachable. "Food for Other Fish" is less surf and more rock with the same amount of psychedelia. Personally I find myself listening to "Krill Slippin" more, a lot more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
tone poem 6 April 2011
By People Against A Tidy World - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is beautiful music played with virtuosity, but it owes more to Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix than The Ventures and Surfaris. Those looking for Neo-Surf like Man Or Astroman? and Los Straitjackets won't find it here.

What they will find is an extended tone poem. It's hard to remember where one song ends and another begins, and that's OK--it's quite a song. You won't tire of it.
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