Albert Fish – Strongly Not Recommended
Despite, or perhaps thanks to, all its line-up changes, Albert Fish has been one of Portugal’s longest running, still active punk rock bands to date. Though formed in 1995, it wasn’t until 2002 that the band released its first full-length album - “Strongly Recommended” - on CD. Coincidence (or not), this debut LP finally got issued on vinyl for the very first time and yup, even after 18 years it was still strongly recommendable!
But as said, a lot can – and has – changed in the past 18 years. Only Albert Fish’s bassist (and all round bad ass) Luís Rattus is still active in the current line-up, but most noticeable is obviously the change of singer, which happened not once – but twice! Since 2018 the band has been fronted by Inês and her voice obviously gave a twist to the band’s sound. Not just on potential new material, but on the band’s existing discography as well. To prove this, the band completely re-recorded its debut full-length in the current line-up!
Entitled “Strongly Not Recommended” (though I beg the differ), the CD released by Ragingplanet contains all nine re-recorded tracks of the band’s debut LP, two bonus-tracks - “Yellow Pinky”, which originally appeared on the band’s first ever demo and a ‘lullaby version’ of the classic anthem “Sindelar” - and, because why not, the original recordings as well. Therefor “Strongly Not Recommended” is not just a re-work of old material, it’s a reissue as well – making the CD packed with twenty tracks total and all of it sounds awesome!
I personally think Inês vocals are great and needless to say the band’s sound and the recording in general is much stronger than it was eighteen or so years ago, instantly upgrading each and every song to today’s standard – whatever those standards may be. But whether I listen to the old or new recordings, my favorites are still “Sindelar” and “Turning Point”. The latter even features both of Albert Fish’s previous vocalists Ed and Gustavo, making the circle complete again. Now let’s hope it will take a little less than eighteen years go get this one out on vinyl, because both the recordings and the great frontcover by Ana Lauro definitely deserve the vinyl treatment!