Artful science fiction punk rockers extraordinaire, Pocket FishRmen, are back with their latest LP We Are Masters of These Levels. If you enjoy not taking life too seriously while simultaneously desiring to dismantle corrupt systems of power, then this is the album for you.
Pocket FishRmen sing of rebellion, whether it be rebelling against the patriarchy on “I Believe the Woman”, raising arms against totalitarian leaders on “Smash the Fascists”, or further discouraging the pessimistic, energy-depleting whiners of the world on “Negativity No.” I agree it is brave to be vulnerable and express your feelings, but I think it’s even braver to tell someone to zip it. Just me?
The song “Positive Vibes” captures the necessity of having at least one inspiring influence in your life to help raise your spirits in the midst of a global crisis, say like the Covid-19 pandemic. My favorite moment on the album is when Pocket FishRmen compare spiritual awakening with mastering the art of making a ham and swiss sandwich on “We Are Masters of These Levels.” That same track concludes with a stimulating rock n roll ascension, equipped with bombastic drums and guitar solos that strike like distorted tie-dye lightning, all culminating in a psychedelic nirvana.
Lastly, my favorite message from We Are Masters of These Levels is when they plead for you to rebel against, not only society’s shortcomings, but the misgivings of your own life. “Obliterate the life you want no more”, they sing. Listen to this album, and it may inspire you to do just that…or not. It may just remind you to buy more toilet paper. Either way, it’ll be a fun thirty-five minutes of crunchy punk bop fun.
Review by Bryce Robinson