Album Review: "Art Guards" by Fishboy

The most remarkable thing an artist can do is persevere after finding success in fields other than their chosen passion. The creative struggle is something that Fishboy founder Eric Michener understands clearly. He's spent the last 15 years being a musician, videographer, and drawing artist, and now his band has released Art Guards, which tells the story of nine characters inter-connected in the same way the principal players of Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia were part of one large story.

This is a new peak for Fishboy's whimsical brand of power-pop music. Charmful, fun, and resonant are fitting adjectives. In the title track there is a chant of "guard the art" coming from an art guard who can not explain the meaning of the art he's trusted to guard. He does try oh so hard to understand art so valuable.

Furthermore, a writer takes a job as a nurse for research. That nurse works under a doctor who is actually an actor pretending to be a doctor so he can score a lucrative role as a doctor(who doesn't aspire to be George Clooney, eh?).. That writer also has a friend that's a popular photographer who gains fame for pictures of pizza.

When those pictures score a gig as a pizza chef, the opening night is visited by a food critic who gained popularity from reviewing things he ate as a starving artist. Throughout each perspective, varying degrees of success are achieved with an opaque expression of honesty on their heart's desires.

These songs were performed across two nights during the last week of J&J's Basement being open. During those sets, Michener spoke of how he visualized the music videos for his songs being filmed in the Ol' Dirty Basement. Really, the spirit of what the ODB meant to Denton's creative scene lives on in the spirit of Art Guards. 

Coinciding with the release,  200+ art guard paintings  are available for purchase. Michener tried his best to paint an art guard every single day.. If he missed a painting for a day, then he'd make up for it later. It's as if he lives in a locomotive art train where the only fuel is to keep expressing creativity.

The album can be purchased on Fishboy's Bandcamp camp. A $20 deluxe package comes with a hand-painted CD jacket and 55-page comic book. Vinyl records can be purchased through the Lauren Records online store.

Header Image Design by Cristopher Rodgers