Pocket FishRmen at the Red Eyed Fly (Photo By John Anderson)
Pocket FishRmen: The Final Blowjob
Red Eyed Fly, May 13
You know it's going to be a night of riotous rock & roll abandon when the club garbs its stage monitors in prophylactic sheaths of plastic. And who could blame them? Sending off a local punk rock warhorse like the Pocket FishRmen after 14 years of dedicated service demanded a full-scale display of gross physical communion between band and audience. Fans came out of the woodwork for this one, and you couldn't help wondering how things might have turned out if the band always drew crowds like this. The Pocket FishRmen were often taken for granted, their consummate showmanship and playful perversion appreciated but ultimately passed over in favor of a long succession of Next Big Things. Yet news of their demise undoubtedly triggered fond memories for many people: mosh pits on UT's East Mall during a Young Anarchists League rally, fish frys at the Austin Outhouse, and full-frontal band nudity (except for fully clothed former bassist Ron Williams) in the malt liquor muck of the Cavity. In the wee hours of a drunken Red Eyed Fly Sunday morning, that list grew to include a sweaty cluster of faithful sardines screaming the lyrics of FishRmen classics like "One Blowjob, One Handjob, One Vagina Job" and "Big Ass on Fire" with the temerity of English football fans. Vocalist Brant Bingamon looked quite fetching in a security guard uniform that would literally be ripped from his body before the night was through. Bingamon's twisted, pitch-shifted voice made him sound like a horny teenager who just wahooed a tank of helium, but few teens not directly descended from Joyce could come up with such poignant lines as "I want to pork you 'til the half-digested meat spews forth." Cris Burns' inimitable cheese guitar heroics kept the fists a-flyin', especially on barreling speedballs like "The Leader Is Burning." Bassist Jason Craig succinctly captured the evening's essence when he yelled, "So much love in one tiny spot -- it makes me want to fuck you all!" Not surprisingly, the FishRmen's last song was the pro-marijuana anthem, "Go out Smokin'"; a strange smell wafted through the air as the congealed humanity at the front of the room began bouncing and weaving in time to the music. A cake baked for the occasion by Solid Gold 40 guitarist Stinky Del Negro wound up smeared on several faces, and virtually everyone wound up wearing at least one spilled drink. Any hopes for an encore were literally smashed when Craig set his axe aflame Monterey-style and began pounding it to smithereens. There was no final bow, just a mess of splinters, grime, and feedback. All in all, it was a textbook example of annihilation with high honors. Rest in pieces dear FishRmen.