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Citizen Fish



English ska-punkers Citizen Fish can boast a noble lineage: the band is the direct descendent of the successful and often brilliant '80s punk outfit The Subhumans. After the mid-'80s demise of that band, singer Dick formed the less-known Culture Shock, which lasted for a few years before he (along with C.S. bassist Jasper) reunited with his old Subhumans bandmates Phil (guitar) and Trotsky (drums) in 1989 to form Citizen Fish.

The quartet continues working in the framework of classic U.K. Sex Pistols/The Clash style punk, blending the raucous urgency of rock with the earthy warmth of reggae and the bounce of ska, while occasionally adding haunting echoey dub accents. The music serves as a forum for harsh social realism and far-left anarchist politics, all articulated by Dick through bitter declamatory vocals. Surprising touches of poetry and lyrical color complement the music's politics.

Citizen Fish released half a dozen albums during the '90s. Their 1999 effort, Active Ingredients, contains the featured "Sacred Cows."

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