Lungfish, Talking Songs for Walking

Joe Gross

By Joe Gross

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A rock upon which the emotive church was built.

Deepest in their aching, breaking hearts, most emo-punk bands would give their chain wallets and Gibson SG guitars to be Lungfish, Baltimore's mesmeric punk rock messiahs. The only non-D.C. band on Dischord (Ian MacKaye worships them) and possessing an ascetic vibe that makes Fugazi seem like Buckcherry, Lungfish sounds and acts like nobody else. Frontman Daniel Higgs is emo's Gnostic poet-king, his lyrics fusing the biological, spiritual and mechanical. (Kinda like H.R. Giger, but not totally evil.) Talking Songs is the band's most straightforwardly rock album: Songs have verses, choruses (sort of) and the heaven-splitting triumphalism emo so often tries to lock down. "Broadcast" refuses the finality of death, while "Descender" witnesses an angel (and puts in a good word for acid!). The appended Necklace of Heads EP includes the "hit" "Nothing Is Easy." Altogether, a stone classic and a rock upon which the emotive church was built.