Baltimore’s mercurial post-hardcore zen masters Lungfish have always been a connoisseur’s buy. Their music was repetitive, meditative, and cosmic. A typical song would feature no chorus or bridge, only one cyclical guitar riff, while the band’s resident mystic, the imposing, bearded, shamanic Daniel Higgs, would issue lysergic declamations that sounded for all the world like some kind of scripture. Their fan base was never large, but holy hell, is it devoted—Lungfish fans are often the kind of music dorks whose faces will absolutely light up if you give them a chance to gush about the band.
They released 10 albums, an EP, and a collection of outtakes, none of which sounded terribly different from one another, every one of which I absolutely adore. Their last album of new material, Feral Hymns, is now nine years old, and apart from the 2012 release of A.C.R. 1999 a “lost album” from years earlier, there’s been no activity from the band. Singer Higgs has pursued a solo career, releasing impenetrable albums of ultra dense mysticism on which he plays banjo and Jews-harp, and he’s sung for the more accessible Swedish band Skull Defekts (very good stuff, BTW). Their deliberate, immersive guitarist Asa Osborne has been releasing work under the name Zomes. However, I’ve been unable to find an actual announcement of the band’s breakup, so I’ll keep hoping for Lungfish album #11, which will of course sound like all the others. And I will fucking love it.
Here’s a best-of/overview I compiled because why not.
“Friend to Friend in Endtime” from Talking Songs for Walking, 1992
“Open House,” from Rainbows From Atoms, 1993
“One Way All the Time,” from Pass & Stow, 1994
“X-Ray the Pharaoh” from Sound in Time, 1996. This was where the band began to shed punk trappings and reach for the trippy, deliberate, pensive sound that’d become their trademark.
“Signpost” from Sound in Time, 1996.
“Organ Harvest” from Indivisible, 1997, the album I come back to most often. It’s difficult for me not to just post the whole damn thing.
“Fill the Days” from Indivisible, 1997
“Love Will Ruin Your Mind” from Artificial Horizon, 1998
“Mated” from Unanimous Hour, 1999
“Sex War” from Necrophones, 2000
“Peace Mountains of Peace” from Love Is Love, 2003
“All Creation Bows” from Feral Hymns, 2005, the other Lungfish album I’m going to wear through the grooves on before I die.
“You are the War” from Feral Hymns, 2005
Here’s a cool thing: Radio Waves for Viewing, a “documentary” on the band made from a Higgs radio interview that’s been goosed with music, live footage and rare photos. This will give you as good an idea of what’s crawling around in the man’s very, very different mind as anything.