Fishbone

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

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After the critical and commercial success of their 1991 tour de force The Reality of My Surroundings, you'd think that it would smooth sailing for the many members of Fishbone -- not quite. Despite the fact that the band was viewed by fans as a close-knit family, problems were brewing behind the scenes. Depending on who you believed, founding guitarist Kendall Jones was either growing disenchanted with the band's musical direction or he was brainwashed by a cult. Either way, he quit the band immediately after the release for 1993's lackluster Give a Monkey a Brain. While the funk/punk/ska sound on earlier albums was still evident here and there, this is considered Fishbone's heavy metal album by longtime fans. The witty humor and thought-provoking songwriting had been lost and replaced with such predictable fare as the grunge-sounding "Swim," and such woefully off-the-mark compositions as "The Warmth of Your Breath" and "Drunk Skitzo." While a few songs were decent ("Unyielding Conditioning," and "No Fear"), the album was a severe letdown. What could have been Fishbone's ultimate breakthrough nearly turned out to be a career killer. After the ensuing tour wrapped up, keyboardist Chris Dowd left as well, and Columbia dropped the band.

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