Irma Vep proves on “Deep Sea Fish” that they are a rock band with a lot going on, and I like to think of them as being a punk rock n roll band, with the emphasis on the punk being on Side A and the rock n roll being on Side B.
What begins as somewhat psychedelic and ambient turns rather smoothly into punk rock which reminds me of early Green Day (and I mean pre-“Dookie” here) and it can even come out like a more refined version of the Sex Pistols. Side A is definitely the punk side, and the abrasive attitude might help that a little bit, but there are also signs of Replacements on here as well. Some of the songs are not afraid to be instrumental, while others offer up the dreamy styles of Forgive Durden.
Side B is more of the rock n roll, as already stated because it has those starts and stops like Buddy Holly or someone from that time frame. There is a brief interlude of bubbles that make you think back to the fish and the cassette title, but then the second to last song brings out a number of rock classics (too many to name or maybe only one will suffice?) and that mostly comes down to the Mtv Unplugged version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” (Nirvana). Don’t get me wrong, there are other anathematic type of rock songs that could go along with this, but now I also rather do think that maybe this song goes along with them.
This tape ends with what I can only describe as a long, distorted drone work but it is a fitting closure somehow to this otherwise rocking album that just leaves you wanting more all of the way through. There is somewhat of a ballad on the first side, while the second to last song on the whole slows down, but it’s just a nice sort of way to wind down and remove yourself from this hypnotic rock trance and put yourself back into reality… that is, only if you want to, as there is always the option to flip the tape back over and press play again.