Pine Barons Love Fish And So Should You

Pine Barons somehow pull off the difficult.  Their latest, I Love Fish, a tribute to Fishmans, a Japanese band that was around in the late ‘80s up to the millennium.  Many have not heard of Fishmans, as myself, but I intend to catch up thanks to Pine Barons.

The songs covered by Pine Barons play very true to the original with a twist.  No there is no reinvention here like a lot of artists tend to in other tributes.  The Pine Barons are true to the original while adding what was considered psychedelic and push it up a further notch with a lot of extra guitar reverb and with Keith C. Abrams, at times breathy vocals the songs knit a web around the listener weaving a comfortable cocoon that softly embraces the listener.

The Fishmans are a sadly overlooked band.  They’ve become a cult favorite among online music snobs and the music deserves a long overdue place on any playlist.

Pine Barons do a great job with haunting guitar, wispy at times vocals and percussion emphasized in the right place without overpowering the song.  It’s nice to see a tribute that honors the original with the band not trying to obnoxiously overlay their personality into it.

The lyrics are simple at times that blend well with the mood of the music.  “Smilin’ Days, Summer Holiday” is a standout track from I Love Fish as well as a truly grandiose version of “Long Season” appropriately named since the song is the longest on the album and makes the perfect bookend to the tribute.

Fishmans are a lost treasure, while some version of them is still out there from time to time.  Pine Barons do them justice and you should as well by checking it out.

 – Dave Weinthal