Considered by many to be the band's finest release, If You Swear, You'll Catch No Fish deservedly ranks high on many all-time punk lists. Core members Mr. Chi Pig on vocals and brothers Brent "Bunt" and Mark "Muc" Belke (providing a literal twin-guitar attack) are joined on this, their second full-length disc, by a rhythm section consisting of Ted Simm (drums) and Dave Bacon (bass). Released in 1986 on the Better Youth Organization (BYO) imprint, If You Swear, You'll Catch No Fish contains many classic SNFU cuts like "Forgot" and "Better Homes and Gardens." The skate punkers pick up where fellow Canadians the Subhumans left off and take extra-U.S. North American hardcore to new extremes with their slapshot-fast material and thick guitars. Mr. Chi Pig takes on some serious issues, including Alzheimer's disease ("I Forgot") and the Cold War's nuclear threat ("Black Cloud"), while the guitarists Belke use pop, metal, and hardcore power-chording to create their band's unique sound and vision. Despite or perhaps because of the more polished and focused approach on later SNFU releases, If You Swear, You'll Catch No Fish holds up and holds on to its lofty skate punk status, due mostly to its naïve but earnest purity.
If You Swear You'll Catch No Fish Review
by Vincent Jeffries