Fish & Roses
A week ago I shared a gem by Manchester's Blue Orchids
for a 12 O'Clock Track
and I mentioned that I discovered the band indirectly, after hearing a cover of its song "A Year With No Head" by a New York trio called Fish & Roses, a group that never received its rightful acclaim. The band transformed some of the imperatives of Europe's Rock in Opposition movement, particularly the sound of the French band Etron Fou Leloublan, with a distinct postpunk sensibility and a honey, lyric quality thanks to the gorgeous singing of bassist Sue Garner (a Georgian who first made her name as a member of the Last Roundup).
The group's drummer, Rick Brown—now half of the great post-Saharan art-punk duo 75 Dollar Bill—played in a string of great experimental-rock bands (V-Effect, Information, Curlew) before starting Fish & Roses, in which his drumming brought a wonderful tension to the melodic shapes and jazzy keyboard lines played by Dave Sutter. Brown and Garner went on to form another terrific band called Run On
with guitarist Alan Licht and keyboardist David Newgarden (and later, Katie Gentile); Garner
also released three fantastic albums for Thrill Jockey. Below you can check out "A Rare One," one of the trio's most elegant and distinctive moments from its final album, Dear, John
(Feel Good All Over), which was released in 1990.