Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
All it's going to take to give you a good little painting of the situation is a somewhat oversized paragraph with some descriptive adjectives and some outlandish appropriations. It's not going to take anything too scientific or dense to portray the fun-loving, nerdcore-ity of Austin, Texas' Fishboy. The feat can be accomplished without having to strain too far to either side as it's a world that is not so accidentally typecast as being for the geeks and there are plenty of them out there. We're in front of the computer today, like every day it seems, so the entire world is morphing into a society that balances more of those particular traits than ever before. Our new president, a hunky guy to some, a charismatic guy to all and a impressively intelligent mind to most is also being roundly acknowledged as one of the first real nerds in the White House, refusing to give up his techie security blanket (his BlackBerry) and continuing to collect comic books into mid-life. These are all good things. We're all nerds. Eric Edward Fishboy - the lead singer and songwriter of the band - is also a cartoonist with a distinct style full of idiosyncrasies and themes, running lines and color schemes and all of those things are evident and charmingly highlighted in his music as well. They are stories about young love and pursuits of the heart, that he tells, but also pursuits of the acne-ed and the athletically challenged. It's a pale-skinned homage to the kinds of "sporting" trivialities that get sadly left behind when a person's supposed to grow up a little, become a responsible adult and start thinking about settling down and getting a stable, big person job. Usually, video games and role-playing endeavors, much less geeking out about episodes of Home Movies or collecting vintage Ren & Stimpy action figurines, do not follow dudes into a relationship with one of the fairer sex, or what have you. They remain all elbows and social awkwardness, but are polished up a bit, treated with a new kind of paint job that is all about not needing to spend whole weekends in a basement re-alphabetizing your comic stack or whacking off so much. Eventually, if you're a guy who likes girls, a choice has to be made to put aside such activities and move into the life of a closet nerd instead of one in full, bright light. Fishboy makes the juicy kinds of story songs that Aton & His Package used to make, though the songs that Eric Edward Fishboy pens are more industrial-strength with a real focus on melodies and sophisticated lyrics that go above and beyond with clever plots and rich amusement. More than anything, Fishboy songs are concerned with never letting go of the delights that were had in younger years just to grow up. There are crushes on the cuties working at the taco hut and there are spelling bees, maybe bingo nights and most probably, a sense that holding that cutie's hand for the first time would make the protagonist shake for a good two months and might explode his head completely off. It would make a good issue of a comic book dream sequence and that's all the better, with the jangly pop songs of Fishboy playing clatteringly in the background.