The Stalin – Fish Inn LP

I have to admit, of The Stalin’s four regular studio albums, Fish Inn is the one I listen to the least. This is definitely not because I don‘t like it, or because it’s any worse than its three predecessors. Fish Inn is great, it’s just that I really have to be in the mood for its uneasy, darker, more atmospheric and less bluntly punk/hardcore songs: by its release in 1984 (this here is the re-release from 1986) both bassist Shintarō and guitarist Tam had left, so I guess it’s only natural that Fish Inn is vastly different from trash*, Stop Jap and Mushi.
Though the music itself cannot really be compared, the change in style reminds me a bit of the Dead Kennedys releasing Frankenchrist as the follow-up of Plastic Surgery Disasters.

I wouldn‘t want to stay in a fish inn. Once more: hahaha.

7 Antworten auf „The Stalin – Fish Inn LP“

  1. 1 Fernando 13. Juni 2017 um 1:03 Uhr

    For some reason, I often think of the UK Subs when I think of The Stalin. Well, in fact I know a couple of reasons :D One is that I feel clearly the Subs influence in The Stalin’s music, not the only one (there’s bits of Damned, Ramones and more in the mix) but maybe the stronger one. And the big hit Romanchisuto has some Stranglehold and Emotional Blackmail in it, innit? ;) And the other reason is the history of the band: one or two initial line-ups, then the classic line up that makes the best albums, and then it’s the singer alone with a bunch of friends or mercenaries. Endo is the Charlie Harper of japanese panku :D And well, Harper has done good albums under the subs banner as well as Endo under the Stalin name (with article or withour it) but hey, give Tam (or Nicky Garratt) anytime! I read Tam was fired even before the release of Mushi… And Shintaro didn‘t last much longer…

    Anyway, let’s fish in this record. For me it’s a Stalin record as much as Vietnam Legend is, i.e. a Michiro Endo record. And I even like Vietnam Legend better than Fish Inn (BTW, one of the guitarists in Vietnam L. is Jun „Willard“ Obiga, so you can enjoy more „sensible“ soloing in some of its songs). But yes, no, Fish Inn is a good record. Interestingly it has lots of that type of metallic rhythm guitar a la 1986 PIL or Transformer 12″ (or Bad Brains‘ 1986 LP) that we commented last year in the Transformer post. But this record is from 1984 not 1986. Before its time, then?

    The guitarist here is one Masayuki Ono, obviously more technically profficient than Tam, but Tam is still a better punk guitarist :D Intresting bassists: Bill Laswell (!) and Higo Hiroshi (ex-Mirrors‘ drummer & vocalist!). Drummer Jun Inui is the survivor from the classic Stalin line-up.

    I wonder if I‘ll live enough to discover someday what the „Bye Bye Fritz“ lyrics are about :D

    Oh, I forgot. I was surprised that you don‘t mention the bonus flexi. Or maybe it came only with the 1984 edition? It has „Vacuum (bakyumu)“ and „Kaibôshitsu“ in new versions, played by the new line-up. If memory serves, the guitarist shows how much better than Tam he plays, and that’s precisely the reason why I‘d rather listen to the originals. Even so, the flexi songs are a nice listen


    Fernando :)

  2. 2 抗独 29. Juni 2017 um 19:27 Uhr

    Hah, too bad you never see Charlie Harper vomiting or stripping on stage! ;) There is definitely a UK Subs influence in their early stuff, but The Stalin did a lot wilder and more disturbing shit. The UK Subs could never have pulled off songs like Dendō Kokeshi, Kakumeiteki Nichijō or Dekiai (probably my favourite track on trash*). But don‘t get me wrong: I‘m not dissing the UK Subs; I like them but I‘m not really a big fan.

    I can‘t really compare Fish Inn to Vietnam Legend, because I never got around to checking out Michirō Endō’s other bands and projects like Video Stalin, Michirō, Get The Help and so on. Is there a good starting point?

    I forgot about the flexi because my record doesn‘t have it. I had posted the songs in the Sakhalin Smile comp, though. I found the new versions kind of overproduced, so I prefer the originals, too.

  3. 3 Fernando 01. Juli 2017 um 13:26 Uhr

    Hehe, I‘m a Subs fan, but not a very big one either and I prefer The Stalin too. I mentioned the influence but my main point was the parallelism of two bands that became one-man-bands with changing mercenaries, a la Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow :D And I forgot another parallelism, the fact that these two singers were not exactly teen punks when they started, even though Endo looked way younger than he really was.

    You haven‘t heard Vietnam Legend? I‘m surprised! Well that’s the perfect starting point to Michiro’s „solo“ career then! Even though it’s mainly a covers album, but most of them are unrecognisable in any case. His later solo stuff and even the Stalin (without „The“) from the 90’s is not bad at all even if it has this „grotesque pop“ feel and late 80’s style overproduction which I kinda hate (Video Stalin’s „Minus One“ is probably the better example of that), but the records always have enough good surprises and at least two or three good songs. I was lucky to find a Russian site circa 2009 with most of this stuff, I still have the link of the site somewhere but I doubt the links still work…

  4. 4 Gaijin 01. Juli 2017 um 15:46 Uhr

    I would really really really love to hear the original 1984 mix of this one. I have found more than 10 different rips, but each and every one was the 1986 remix.
    Does anyone here perhaps have an original copy that (s)he could rip? That would be awesome. Including the flexi? Even awesomer…

  5. 5 抗独 29. Juli 2017 um 20:21 Uhr

    Hey Fernando,
    exactly the thing about the covers album kept me away. Maybe I‘ll give it a try, The Stalin’s covers (and semi-covers, I‘m looking at you, Buta ni shinjuu and Bakyuumu!) were kind of fun after all! Fuck, there’s so much music and so little time (especially once you get older…).

    @Gaijin: sorry, but this version is the only one I‘ve got. I have no idea, what mix the flexi songs on Sakhalin Smile are, did you check them out?

  6. 6 Fernando 30. Juli 2017 um 12:37 Uhr

    Hi 抗独

    I think Gaijin is talking about the LP original mix from 1984, not the flexi. I doubt the flexi had different mixes specially since there was only one release (but then it was included in the ‚Stalinism‘ miniCD from 1987). I had read about the 1986 Fish Inn release (the one you have) having a different mix than that of the 1984 original. It must be difficult to track down that one.

    What is „I‘m looking at you“? MC5 song? By The Stalin? Where? Semi-covers, hahaha, yeah, blatant Damned new-rosisms and Ramones‘ blitzkrieg. But hey, there’s millions of Blitzkrieg Bop’s ripoffs in punk history. The other day I was listening to another one of them, „Violentami“ by the Jo Squillo Eletrix (1981). Xerox music is here to stay, as the Desperate Bicycles sang (if I remembr well) ;) Yeah, check Vietnam Legend, have no fear, there’s no Beetles in it :P

  7. 7 抗独 31. August 2017 um 19:31 Uhr

    „I‘m looking at you“ was me trying to sound like I was talking to the songs!No MC5, haha!

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