FISH WORSHIP CD
Ray Troll’s fascination with offbeat natural history topics has deeply informed his fish-filled artwork over the years and that natural curiosity has infected Russell Wodehouse, Troll’s song writing partner in slime, and the rest of the Ratfish Wranglers.
This fascination is the fodder that fuels the under currents of “Fish Worship,” the third CD in the Wrangler’s quixotic oeuvre. Riddled with paleo and piscatorial perspicacity, “Fish Worship” muses on ancient rhinos, ocean acidification, how to combat rockfish barotrauma and the Smithsonian’s acquisition of one of the most complete T-Rex fossil ever found.
The tunes are fun and quirky, dripping with melody and imagery. Lead vocalist, Shauna Lee is featured on many of the cuts. Her power and range can be felt from the haunting and ethereal “The Whorl,” to the raw rock railings of “Snowmastodon.”
Core member and bassist, Brian Curtis, lends his voice to the lush and lilting harmonies gracing nearly every tune on board. Curtis can also be found lending his talents on fiddle on “The Whorl Tooth Sharks of Idaho.” He’s in good company with Oregon fiddle champ, Jim Hockenhull and noted Alaskan Bluegrass fiddle deity, Bob Banghart burning the bows on “Time Traveling with a Shovel.”
Guitarist and mainstay Wrangler, Dave Rubin provides guitar leads and licks on, ‘Fish Worship,” “The Whorl,” and “National Rex.” While Ketchikan local and shred-meister, Aren Jenkins lays it down on, “Megalodon.” Other notables include Dave Kiffer with a sublime sax solo on the horn driven ska-flavored, “Some Something”, sung by the band’s banjo barrister, Adam Carter. Carter also fronts the lullaby remake of, “Hell Pig,” which had been a harrowing wall of distortion on the Warnglers previous album, “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway.”
One of the finest moments on the new album can be found in the dark yet dulcet growling trumpet solos dropped by Dale Curtis on, “Blue Lake Rhino”, a song all about an unfortunate prehistoric rhinoceros that met an untimely demise in Eastern Washington state some 20 million years ago.
This rich caboodle of piscatorial flavored canticles spans both style and sonorous overtones. The Wranglers clearly had a LOT of fun making this album and you can’t help smiling as you listen. You’ll find yourself singing along and at the end of it all, you’ll be surprised to find you may have just learned a few things along the way.
What people are saying about Fish Worship:
“‘Fish worship, is it wrong?’ asks the opening track. ‘No, it ain’t wrong,’ is the response. Neither is this album. Serve it up at your next fish fry.”
– David James (read the full article here)