Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet / Sport Fishin' CD / (Cargo)

Starting off with a Scottish jig is a classic way many great rock albums have been started. For example, AC/DC's Back In Black and Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. Both score very highly when classic rock stations do their Top 500s. Of course, that is when I spend a lot of time pushing record and pause on my tape deck. Next year when that Top 500 rolls around again, I'll be pretty surprised if Sport Fishin' isn't in the Top 60. They follow the opener with "Spend A Night, Not A Fortune," which I consider to be their "Kashmir." "Won't Get Fooled Again" is quickly followed up by their two part mini-opera "Fortune Tellin' Chicken" / "(Relax) You Will Think You're A Chicken." Wade a little deeper into this platter and you'll find their tribute to Mr. Bryner: "That Wuz Ear Me Callin' A Horse."

Seriously, Shadowy Men throw you a curve with the opener, but quickly get down to business by playing some of the biggest, beefiest rock music they've yet to reveal. They put the meat and potatoes at the beginning this time so the first 15 minutes completely hold my attention - so much that I haven't really listened to the rest of the record yet. But that's the way Shadowy Men records are; filled with so much solid stuff that it's hard to digest in one sitting. Even "Spy School Graduation Theme," which I hadn't thought much of on their last single, benefits from the context of the surrounding material. Oh yeah, they settle some debate with "We're Not A Fucking Surf Band." There are about five tracks on here that are totally outside that genre. You might have a hard time believing the Shadowy boys are in a league of their own, but the closest thing to the instrumental, joyful rock music they make would be a second-cousin relation to Pell Mell. That band uses the serfs as a departure point and drives them out into … well, a very Shadowy Place. Rolling Stone magazine ending: In case you haven't caught the fever, Sport Fishin', will reel you in. Suck. - TA