Fishbone

Truth and Soul

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By 1988, alternative/college rock was becoming a recognizable force in the mainstream. Several bands were big enough to play arenas, and many even earned gold and platinum albums. The tide was clearly changing for such previously misunderstood bands such as Fishbone. Their second full-length release Truth and Soul was issued that year, and remains one of the band's (and the '80s) very best. On past albums, Fishbone's sound was a melting pot of ska, punk, and funk. This time, hard rock has been added to the mix -- especially evident in guitarist Kendall Jones' six-string work, with often-spectacular results. Also, the songwriting has improved tremendously and has become much more focused here. The party anthem "Bonin' in the Boneyard" is one of the band's finest (with superhuman bass work by Norwood Fisher), as is the ska-based "Ma and Pa," and a cover of Curtis Mayfield's early-'70s hit "Freddie's Dead." Also featured are several musically varied tracks that deal with the same topic: racism, past and present ("Deep Inside," "One Day," "Subliminal Fascism," "Slow Bus Movin'," "Ghetto Soundwave"). Truth and Soul remains Fishbone's most consistent album.

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