ConKerring With John

Kissing Fish (Independent)
John Kerr

By David Lilly

Time for a plop quiz, people. What are the three most important aspects of fishing? Answer: location, location and location. We're talking reel estate values. And it's not about you or me kissing fish; it's about fish kissing each other (and Abe Vigoda). Besides, fish have at least one thing in common with music, right? Scales.

With the exception of a couple of moments of quasi-balladry (see "Away" and "Always Turn'in" for the "quieter" times), this album goes down with all the intensity of a car ride with the mafia (just ask Sal Tessio). While no one will mistake this music for John Fogerty's work, it is indeed rock of a psychedelic swamp. A lot of guys are named John Kerr. However, this John Kerr, the guitarist/vocalist throughout Kissing Fish, is the only one I know of that plays guitar as if he'd been practicing psychedelic blues guitar from in utero to Pluto. He has some crack help too, with bassist Steve Cursinger, drummer Brent Greco and percussionist Jerry McBroom filling in the respiratory pattern of the Kissing Fish bog (as well as Erik Jenkins filling bottom on the slinky "Words").

Lyric-wise, well, I'm not going to tackle that (nibble those yourself, if interested). That ain't giving much away, but you can do a whole lot worse by turning on the radio. Suffice to say that Kerr's lava-lamp vocals suit his music well enough that what he's singing of is of little concern (to me, at least).

There is just this one problem, but it is a personal preference issue. My lone complaint about this CD is that I wish the songs were longer. Particularly "Valley of Song," "Pools of Red," "Call it Love," "Words" and "Hate Bleeds." Only about half the songs, eh? That said, my music fishbowl is half-full and I'll continue enjoying this a while.

No need to sit around waiting for the action to come to you, chum. Hopefully you feel lured enough to cast yourself to the following fine and convenient location for more information and samples - or at least a good Kissing Fish tale: