Phish – Round Room

I don’t know from Phish, except people call them a jam band along the lines of the Grateful Dead. Is that even correct? I just don’t know. I could look it up but I prefer to let my listening experience be pure.

The only reason I own this CD is because I got it for $1, brand new. Yes, it was packed into a $2, 2-CD deal with a Stooges album at the fucking Dollar Store at the beach this summer. I really wanted the Stooges for $1, so Phish came with it at the same price.

I haven’t bothered to look up whether Phish fans like this one or not, I just listened to the damned thing.

I made notes for each song as I listened, but the salient words were:

Lite jazz rock, cleaner Zappa, soft/big, noodley… and that was all in the first song. Some songs swing while they rock, others are sambas, others are experimental in feel, rock in execution. There’s a veritable swamp of influences here, and it all comes out sounding like their own thing. The musicianship is flawless, the execution superb. There are lots of jamming sections, solo sections that are tons of fun, and some of it is just damn funky.

In sum? It’s feel-good, engaging music that defies genre descriptions. I fucking loved this record.


Posted on November 3, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I am also under the impression Phish is a band like the Dead.


    • Here’s what Wiki says…

      Phish’s music blends elements of a wide variety of genres, including rock, jazz, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, funk, folk, bluegrass, and blues. Although the band has received little radio play or mainstream exposure, Phish has developed a large and dedicated following by word of mouth, the exchange of live recordings, and selling over 8 million albums and DVDs in the United States. Rolling Stone stated that the band helped to “…spawn a new wave of bands oriented around group improvisation and super-extended grooves”. They remain a very popular and successful touring act.


  2. From 1995 to about 2000 I saw about 25 Phish shows. This one came out right before they went on hiatus. I recall it sounding a lot the way you described it. Not their best studio but good, I don’t think they play a lot of this material now, but it was good for its time. In 97/98 they wrote about 50 songs about 10-15 of them ended up on the two albums previous, so I think here they had tapped the well and had to start from scratch. There are better places to start with to get into these guys (Rift or Billy Breathes) or you could just listen to a live show to get the full effect. Fall of ’97 they were absolutely killing it.

    Phish is a fun band, musically and compositionally very accomplished. Their lyrics can be somewhat silly but of course this is part of their charm


    • Wow thanks for this! 25 concerts! That’s amazing! Based on what I heard here, I could easily be induced to go look up other stuff of theirs, so I appreciate the recommends. You nailed it right on the head – fun music. And they’re damn good at it.


  3. What year is this Aaron?

    I know, I could google it!

    2002. Hmm, nope then I have never heard this one.


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