Citizen Fish / Leftover Crack – Deadline
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release Date: March 6, 2007
Two of punk's most politically-incorrect charged bands on the scene, Leftover Crack and Citizen Fish have put an album out together called Deadline. Each band puts forth a couple original songs along with Leftover Crack covering a Citizen Fish and Subhumans song, while Citizen Fish covers a Leftover Crack and a Choking Victim song. The “split series” CD released under Fat Wreck Chords is a follow up to the 2006 Baby Punchers vinyl that was released by Alternative Tentacles.
Leftover Crack, who hails from the streets of New York, were shaped from former members of the influential ska band Choking Victim. Most commonly known for being banned from venues, they recently started recording again after the death of their drummer. Mixing up elements of ska, punk, and even death metal, they have up to seven performers on stage singing about everything from hate of authority to homophobia in the punk scene.
Citizen Fish formed in the United Kingdom in the 1990s by Dick Lucas, the original singer of the Subhumans. Known for their ska punk music and strong political views, the band was thought to have thrown in the towel five years ago, but surprised many when they decided to record with Leftover Crack.
Citizen Fish start off the CD by way of “Working on the Inside” with blaring horns and simple ska chords proving they still have it. It’s your typical punk ska song attacking the government, nothing too extraordinary, but I still enjoy it. The cover of Choking Victim’s “Money” just sounds a tad different when the British accented Lucas take on the lyrical duties, but they do a great job on it. “Join the Dots”, another original, has a nice punk feel to it with a catchy bass line and fun horns. The Leftover Crack cover of “Clear Channel (Fuck Off)” is interesting as well because of - you guessed it, the singing. I guess when you grew up with the Subhumans you never forget Lucas’ voice.
Warning: if you like the way America is running I advise you not to listen to “Baby Punchers." Featuring guest speaker Jello Biafra, this is my favorite cut on the cd. The song may seem like your typical 'screw the government, let’s riot and burn things to the ground' mantra, but there is more depth to the lyrics. Also, the line by Jello Biafra leads up to a memorable ending. “…And Out Comes The N-Word” calls out all closet racists and throws down hate to a certain punk band whom they feel are sell outs and need to fix their act. Even though Leftover Crack's portion of the split lacks some of the intensity and musicianship of their previous works, there's one last song that proves that Leftover Crack can still kill it, "World War 4." It's a bit poppier than most of Leftover Crack's work, but lyrically the song delivers and makes you think about the message that Leftover Crack are hoping to spread.
It’s nice to see bands from opposite sides of the world get together and protest their feelings on current events. Personally I think that both bands should have released their own CDs and skipped the “split-series” project. While it's interesting to hear the bands cover one another, Deadline is not in the regular tradition of a “split” CD (in which the entire CD is two bands covering one another). Citizen Fish does a great job covering Leftover Crack and vice versa, but there are really only four covers. If you are looking for new material by either band, I strongly suggest you go out and get this CD. Citizen Fish have proven they are still in the game and Leftover Crack continue to write songs that will piss off thousands and keep the crack rocksteady scene wanting for more.