|Civilization and Its Discotheques||1987||2.46/pi|
|Repressed: The Best of the Fibonaccis||1993||e/pi|
These warped-yet-tuneful mellotron-fortified zolo pop masters were one of the most intriguing groups to come of the very fruitful Los Angeles punk scene. Their one full-length album is unfortunately not a perfect showcase of their talents, but their small discography offers numerous pleasures and is well worth perusing. They have an out of print best-of CD, but the easiest way to find their music nowadays may be to ask the band nicely.
It’s not their most fully realized release, but this early EP does establish their formula: complex, keyboard-heavy arrangements that have a sort of sarcastic stateliness, or possibly a sincere goofiness; and the strange song-stories about arrogant, shallow people. “Second Coming” seems to be the centerpiece…or at least, the closest thing to a pop-rock song.
Shorter and sweeter than their debut, (though it doesn’t have a song as good as “Second Coming”) this dandy EP has to be considered a direct assault on the 80s and its inhabitants: “When the tumor comes / whatchu gonna do? / eat a roll of Tums? / who you gonna sue?”; “I love slow beautiful sex / with upwardly mobile people / ... / come on! pour me some Giacobazzi / and tell me you’re a Nazi!” It all ends, appropriately enough, with a cover of the theme from “Psycho” (a good job they do of it, too.)
It took the band four years to properly follow up their Tumor EP, thanks to their ill-fated TerrorVision soundtrack and various troubles within the band. Ultimately, the album seems to have killed them. It’s not the masterpiece that one would hope for; for whatever reason, several of their best songs never made it onto here. Still, it’s a worthy release. Opener “March to Heaven” might be the poppiest thing they ever did, and it manages to strike an excellent balance between freakish and melodic.
Much of the rest relies more on charm and atmosphere than hooks, but there are hooks there, if you look closesly. “Crickets” actually sounds like a classic 70s prog song, somewhere between Genesis and Comus. “Old Mean Ed Gein”, about a teen’s rebellious fascination with serial killers, is one of the best. “Leroy”, the single, unfortunately is a novelty song without too much going for it musically. Amusingly creepy, though.
This 26-song Restless Records compilation isn’t quite the final word on the Fibonaccis discography (how could they leave out “Second Coming”?) but it’s pretty close. As well as most of the songs from their three regular releases, it includes some essential non-LP material: “Anti-Oedipus”, “Dancing with the Bears”, and their excellent “TerrorVision” theme song are all as good as anything they released. “Leroy” and “The Thread” both appear in superior-to-the-album recordings. Their “Purple Haze” cover, on the other hand, is probably best forgotten, in spite of an entertaining music video which recontextualizes the song into an anthem for a Manson-esque cult.