Maybe because University is bigger than school, or perhaps because we happened to do a course that was chock-full full of super-creative folks, Dave and I keep discovering bands comprised of people we used to sit in class with. This has the dual effect of making us super proud (for instance, Winter People have their debut record out this month) and sad that we really haven’t done anything interesting with our lives. This happened recently when we realised that this super cool audio-smash-up duo called Fishing just happened to feature this dude called Doug Wright who was always so much more awesome than us anyway but now he’s proven it. Two guys with what I presume to be highly-charged MPCs, Fishing have been around the traps for a few years as the bastard side project of the serious indie rock band that Doug and mate Russ are in with another guy. But if there’s one thing Sydney doesn’t need more of, it’s indie rock bands. And if there’s one thing it does, it’s guys who willfully give into the fact that they’re white, skinny and dig crunk beats like 1997 never ended and The Avalanches never got sued. This week Fishing – and how annoying are bands who are impossible to look up without coming across recreational activity instead? – made some minor ripples when they signed with Yes Please, a lovely little Aussie boutique who also look after Oliver Tank and Guerre, who just did a sweet collabo with Collarbones. No we don’t know any of those guys personally. I already told you we’re not cool.
Fishing really hit it big early with ‘OOOO’ which they dropped out of nowhere in 2010. Pitchfork decided they were awesome and it became this huge rolling snowball from there. While that’s a great song, I happen to think their more recent jams, released in the form of three separate online EPs called ‘Hookz’ are more indicative of where they’ll be heading. ‘Brown Legs’ comes from the final of these, which also includes a brilliant remix of One A Day fave, Jonathan Boulet that you must listen to. It already starts off with a winner, sampling the African vocal group from Paul Simon’s Graceland classic, ‘Diamonds On The soles Of Her Shoes’. Chop and run fiends, I’ve been told Fishing have lifted (in the classic hip-hop, not the illegal Girl Talk way) pretty much anything and everything, including one of the theme tunes from beloved Nintendo game, Zelda. So with this loop firmly and hand, the boys layer on a swinging backbeat and get down to business. Horns blare and shift pitch, shakers shake and then there’s this vocoder melody that sounds more like R2D2 than anything Kanye or T-Pain ever put out. Like an early Beck or Dust Brothers-era Beastie Boys, Doug and Russ pick up whatever’s on the floor of their brains or Ableton files and go bananas with it. There’s so many sound files here it’s actually ridiculous, but thankfully they have a knack for harmony and manage to carry it off without any of their listeners having to be carried off on a stretcher.
I’ve always been skeptical of this mash-up, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink aesthetic, particularly because it’s become really popular in the counter-culture scene in Sydney of late. There’s a lot of untalented idiots with expensive gear getting on stages that should rightfully belong to bands, or guys who are actually musicians but chose to experiment with this format (Jonti being a perfect example. Fishing strike me as different, mainly because I’ve seen them play and they’ve got more hustle than most cock-rock bands and their output is as consistently good as it is entertaining. Though they’re only onto the 7″ singles at the moment and our record player is totally fucked, thanks to Soundcloud we should be able to jam out to the new weird era of Fishing until they crack it big time. Goddamn talented people.
Fishing – ‘Brown Legs’