Fishbone The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk

Sure, they've been here for years, but this is definitely a comeback. Eschewing their ill-advised '90s forays into bad metal and side-stepping what would be an obvious return to their roles as '80s third wave ska pioneers, Fishbone have opted to mutate into a 21st century psychedelic soul band. The comparisons to Riot Goin' On-era Sly and the Family Stone are obvious, both in the opening "Shakey Ground" and the cover of Sly's "Everybody Is A Star," a faithful rendering that erupts into a jazz-thrash orgasm for the last minute. There's no ska but plenty of reggae; no metal but it's heavy when it wants to be, and a couple of tracks could even hitch them up on the new soul revival. But most importantly, it sounds like they're trusting their instincts and growing old gracefully. (Hollywood)