Hearing this album over 12 years ago, was a life changing experience. While looking into other musicians and different style of music I came across Fishbone after hearing their great ska antics. This wasn't the first Fishbone CD of theirs that I bought, it must have been the 2nd or 3rd and it was a mind altering surprise.
The band pulled off an incredibly polished CD with high production values. Previous albums such as In your Face and Truth and Soul, were somewhat bare bones but also were much more playful seeming to mix their crazy kinetic dancy moments with a few political playful messages. However, with Reality of my Surroundings the band cranked everything up to a huge level, and made some of their most anthemic and powerful music to date.
In one word this album is 'anthemic'
The album starts off with the crunching anthemic funk of Fight The Youth, a song that aches and screams about a generation lost and that needs to be saved. The combination of funk groove and metal crunch was nothing like I heard of in my life, and I am sure on your first listen you will be blown away.
But the albums other great anthems in songs like 'So Many millions', 'Sunless Saturday', 'Prayer To The Junkie Maker', and 'Behavior Control Technician' are not all that is left. You have the ska antics and fun of 'Housework' a little fun ditty cooked up by Angelo about a kid who complains about the chores his mom berates him to do. You have the fun groove jam of a song like 'Nastyee-Mahyen' with it's club pumping romp feel, and then you have the GLORIOUS gospel sounding 'Everyday Sunshine', what has to be one of the most spiritual climaxtic songs on the entire album.
The album is filled with political-social, messages and also it maintains to keep the fun side of the band as well. Peppered in the album are small little live cuts of the band performing 'If I were a ... I'd'. Those songs end up providing a nice break from the hard-boiling seriousness of the other songs.
Every song on this album is just great, and it's a fantastic album to behold. You would think if this album was promoted more this band would be on top of the world. Alas Fishbone only remains a sweet suprise to only a select few who know their mastery, and this was the album when they were at their best.