by Citizen Fish

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Its scary how much a sound this rare and aged can suddenly be dragged kicking and screaming into modern relevance.
CITIZEN FISH are a wonder of nature, they should not be able to inspire these feelings, being as they are 'just a punk band...' []

There is nothing diluted about Citizen Fish’s musically delivery – As expected of a band with such an extensive history they have got better with age; the Fish now deliver some of the finest ska-punk around, each separate ingredient would in its own right be regarded as exemplary – the blending of full on hardcore with jaunty brass-fuelled ska is joyous; the brass is warm, subtle even, it doesn’t, like many other ska releases overpower the music – this at times is even soulful!


released March 1, 2011

Voice+words- Dick
Guitar- Phil
Bass + voice- Jasper
Drums- Silas
Trombone- Matt

recorded + mixed by Tom Dalgety
at Riverside Studio Bath Nov 2010
released by Alternative Tentacles 2011



all rights reserved


Citizen Fish Bath, UK


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Track Name: Shelf Life

there are no mirrors in supermarkets
no not even in the toilets
the eyes that fix on future eating
packages avoid the greeting
shift and stare in strangled fleeting
glimpses of a life retreating
onto shelves to be a part of
human process . . . .

CH- now im just a product on a shelf
saves me having to try to be myself

heres the art of mass consumption
eat the heart of self-respect
put your feet up on assumption
and watch the adverts do the rest
now goods are anything thats sold
and sold dictates a sense of loss
bottled up we sit reflecting
life's expensive. . . .


no price is right for what was free
but now comes blaringly 'brand new'
this bottled water taps the need
to wash the processed poison through

to what degree does quality
now sink to pass its brief exam?
whose sights were set to make us feel
so happy for so short a span?
the slaves who push the buttons
greet the slaves who buy the stuff
we're on the path to madness
and cant get there fast enough
Track Name: Free Speech

in a culture where the natural was dressed to fit the part
we've powdered milk and cartoon cows
sky is on the box the parks are where we fit the cars
and obesity is sold by clowns
when every time religion comes we grab the shopping cart
and curse the price of charity
the only time we pray for help its for a credit card
that stretches to eternity

its what we think we ought to do it's not exactly ours to choose
cos people do the things they do it's how it goes and who are you
to moan i said i seems to me that most of this dependency
on progress god and how it's been just causes stress and misery

CH- let's have some mental liberation
until we do then no-one's really free

cos as the world goes up itself about celebrity and wealth
there's war and raw hypocrisy and still no freedom for the free
to get together all day long and tell the fuckers This Is Wrong!
the nanny state does not forgive your sins- and they know where you live

-free speech is an illusion
once you reach the conclusion
those who set the limits on freedom
won't let you say we don't need them

for fear of losing freedom do we keep it all inside
being quiet in the name of peace
the courts are full of people with opinions to defend
but it doesn't get the press release
if every step is marching to the bus to take us back
to hear that nothing changed again
remember all the facts before the images attack
the pictures in the heart and brain

cos i was there and so were you and several thousand others too
while opinions of millions were shaped by papers and the news
but you were there and so were we - who has the authority
to shape perception to the point of calling it reality?
Track Name: Human Conditioner

ah what fate and destiny can do
to guide a soul about to choose
is nowt compared to bigger screens
louder ads and cheaper dreams
fitted kitchens meals for two
diet plans and processed food
hair and teeth and families
shining scientifically

I turn it on and there it is
I need my fixation
I turn it on and there it is

let the message filter through
you're one of us not one of you
happy home stability
is shown to work with one of these
coming soon on channel three
what those symbols really mean
we stare in fear and then relax
with prerecorded laughter tracks

I turn it on and there it is
I need my fixation
I turn it on and there it is
it's the human conditioner

what forces humankind controls!
such power in words in tales untold
no-one ever turned their backs
on finding out the gruesome facts
oh what threads of chance entwined
that turned amoebas into minds
that turned the telly on and then
forgot to turn it off again
Track Name: Overseas

overseas they say the latest enterprise is doing well
we spread the opportunity to those who had no dreams to sell
protected by our forces their resources almost cover costs
our leading brand of helping hand will turn a profit from a loss

heres the global gift we made from all you gave us yesterday
in blood and sweat it's history's updated trade in misery
heres our god our fizzy drink our popstars and our IMF
here's the cash to pay for us to bleed you til there's nothing left

overseas its where the money flows
we watch the profits grow
that's all we need to know

overseas they say the water flows in every person's home
and people eat so much they think of us as merely skin and bone
mesmerized not by the sky but daily tales of war and crime
they classify the poor as those who can't afford the latest clothes

no pictures here to tap imagination's sympathetic side
the skeletal remains of cultures branded and dehumanised
so take this bleeding whine to drink your lack of health from plastic cups
as thirst and hunger search for dreamless sleep before the sun comes up

overseas its where the water flows
in every person's home
i guess we'll never know
Track Name: Better

they make the roads and telephones
and shrink the planet down
mass dispersal universal
information NOW
we're overdosed for all we know
on all the facts we found
addicted to the ever-new
the old excitement drowned
-now this one's better

with fear and hate they generate
divisions in the sand
whose side you on whose right or wrong
thats how it's all been planned
it seems that lies get justified
when it's all we ever hear
the facts come out in a cloud of doubt
and then they disappear
-cos now its better

divide and rule and watch us all
divide ourselves again
we replicate the fear and hate
it keeps us entertained
'they' dont exist its just a twist-
ed phrase im going through
apparently it's you and me
lets see if we can do
Track Name: Click

on the screen tonight reflecting on the content of the words
content to be suspended by the serious in the absurd
and equally let's sweat to see the silly in the serious
volunteered subconscious twists to front-seat the delirious

and crave the victory of human sentience above the roar
of compliance and a vague defiance bred to raise the final score
life's a competition just a text away from joining it
the subjugation game declares the honours of spectatorship

some twist the dial to find a smile that doesn't boast of ownership
as others file the unbeguiled as somehow missing out on it
less inclined to see ourselves as part of what we come to see
some limbo staring at the hells of fame or anonymity

then click from senses overstretched to how the silence amplifies
a better place whose quality is something never advertised
Track Name: How Far Does It Go?

packed with people in the name of punk
the show goes down and the drink gets drunk
in the name of unity songs get sung
and happily feeling this is where it begun

and a relative normality sets in
this is how its always been
yet once its over the facts come in
people got stabbed as we lived the dream

its a horror story of retaliation
some dead romantic situation
local friends called into a scene
where its still ok to dress to look mean

and fights break out and knives get used
and 3 or 4 peoples lives get screwed
and the cops do what theyre paid to do
and the face of the enemy gets confused

who are we as a collective noun
if even once this shit goes down?
is our unity a shadow of faith
to be crushed when reality takes its place?

can we stand and be counted as pacifists
when arguments lead to knives not fists
and fists instead of open debate
or getting less pissed before we relate

being individual, right or wrong
is a prize to be won not by being strong
but by allowing the freedom for others to say
i disagree- this is my way

as weak as it sounds its all down to words
the reactions when thoughts get heard
and really, fuck it if you hurt some feelings
cos theres 3 or 4 punks in hospital bleeding
...possibly to death
what have we gained?
and what is left?
Track Name: Insane

I felt so happy that I had to complain
Felt better for it so I did it again
Can't eat the money and you can't drink the rain
The whole planet is going insane

They feed us beer and dope ,TV and cocaine
They build us prisons with the taxes we pay
Then take the profit as they lock us away
the whole plan its for ill-gotten gains

I feel so offside that im out of the game
The new spectator sport, anonymous fame
One more celebrity replacing the same
The whole planet's forgotten your name

So heres a list of things to bother your brain
All labelled Normal and everyday
Youre not the only one who thinks its deranged
The whole planet is going insane
Track Name: Marker Pen

the nicest bloke i ever known
got locked up in a nursing home
some disorder of the brain
it had a scientific name
they filled him full of pills and then
left him with a marker pen
with no paper to his name
he started up a little game

wrote upon the tv screen
and the beverage machine
'out of order'- wrote on chairs
that someone else was sitting there
wrote on exit doors 'return'
wrote on curtains 'will not burn'
wrote on the telephone 'lines are dead'
wrote 'on his head' on his head

even though he was insane
driven mad by the constant strain
of repetition and empty scenes
where everything is and nothing means
subverting symbols back to front
proved he was intelligunt
so they let him out and left me behind
now I got his pen and plenty of time

all of this just goes to show
what words can do with the status quo
Track Name: Fearless

it's a smiley face society
where danger lurks round every word
we treasure anonymity
and up the sign do not disturb
a fearless life is one that smiles
much less than ours it has no need
for what contentment puts its trust
no further than the eye can see?

until then it's smiles all round
on cartoon cars and burger clowns
while at the local stomping ground
were overheard the words profound
'what d'you think you're smiling at?'
we've reached the fear of happy face!
now we're several times removed
from any regard for the human race

let's get angry let's get mad
let's get back to what we had

the power to scare will get respect
when wrongly linked to intellect
a fear delivered wrapped in suits
will have us quaking in our boots
its how the powergames trickle down
when the smile provokes a frown
when you're told there's no debate
the things you do just don't relate

let's get angry let's get mad
let's get back to what we had

i cannot be the only one
who knows that fear is overcome
by seeing it as it really is
a means to keep us all transfixed
silent wary hypnotized
blocking out the screams inside
our silence only hides the link
between the minds that dare to think

let's get angry let's get mad
let's get back to what we had
Track Name: Discomfort Zone

the trickle-down effect complete
let's all repeat the news
as seen on TV every day
now we all got similar views
that say it's all too serious
go back to sport and clothes
cos really it's not up to us
lets leave it those who know

CH- and I got to go to somewhere else now before I lose my mind
how far to the nearest person who hasn't been compromised?

ignore the facts try to relax
you're a long time dead and gone
you wanna feel some empathy?
just smile and carry on
I see the eyes looking so surprised
when I say 'all this is wrong'
maybe i should just hang out and shit
then I'll feel like I belong

the middle ground of knowing how the system traps our minds
makes enemies of everything that isn't recognised
but also makes discoveries of better ways to be
the questioning of everything will set the answers free

CH-so I'm gonna go to somewhere else now and see what I can find
how far to the nearest person who hasn't been compromised?
maybe it's you!
Track Name: Spotless

embrace life with neutrogena
is it a medecine is it a cleaner?
I gotta get some it'll make me meaner
another implant from the humachina

I split the atom into family units
gathering dust in a darkened room, it's
prime time night time staring at the moon, it's
outside wondering where are all the loonies?

sunlight arial fairy sqweezy
hippies in my sink all bright an breezy
wash your soul in morning fresh
but dont let any of it near your flesh

spotless clueless numb but clean
let's plug in to the humachine
and reinvent the communal vision
of everyone making their own decisions

'I dont mind adverts' - 'I ignore them'
but deep in the brain is a secret storeroom
you're out there shopping on the internet
steering towards what you try to forget

i dont like adverts or TV
but i try to know my enemy
Track Name: Wake Up

you subsidise the cops it's your protection from the mob
described so well in the daily mail as nothing more than yobs
it's always been the same until there came the day
when a friend of yours was sent to court for just being in the way

now you'd march against the uniforms your taxes pay to stop you
except you need permission and they said they wouldn't let you.....
it's protection for the masses it's a war on terror thing
keep the people in their houses and they'll never feel a thing

put your money where your guilt is, in the banks and in the church
it's where the love of greed and souls that need exoneration merge
no more cash when lives are trashed , just figures on the screen
we're all in debt learn to accept the cure for the disease.....
if we're 'all in this together' its the shit they've put us in
repeat the lie until they either riot or give in

as disbelief in systems tries to reason with insistence
that the way you think is something to be classified as bad
it will send you down the learning curve from I accept to I deserve
the time it takes between them is the best youve ever had

waaaaake up!