by Trixie Delight

Hagfish opened for the Reverend Horton Heat at Club DV8 on August 29th. Hagfish is best described as an energetic neopunk band. Fronted by George Reagan in a sixties style suit, the band and their music is reminiscent of the late 70's and early 80's new wave movement. I met with bassist Doni Blair for an entertaining interview before the show. Unfortunately, due to the use of an ancient recorder, I have no recorded information. But, I do recall some of the more lurid parts of our conversation. So, Doni, forgive me if I screw up the story, but this is how I recall it. The second track on the group's most recent CD "Hagfish Rocks Your Lame Ass", is titled Stamp. The song recounts one of the numerous sexual exploits of lead singer, George Benson.

In Dallas, there is a club that caters to up and coming live bands. The manager of the establishment happened to be an extremely well-endowed and attractive young woman. On one particular day, George went missing. The band, concerned over the whereabouts of their lead singer, went searching. Eventually they approached the manager, who was standing behind the counter at the front of the club. She informed the band that George was under the counter indulging her sexual fantasies as she che as she checked tickets at the door. The resulting song is a campy, hyperkinetic romp that eulogizes George's luck with the women.

Hagfish has no wish to send a particular message. In fact, their name itself means nothing to the band personally. It was simply chosen randomly from a dictionary. The songs are merely a collection of the various experiences of the band. The songs mainly deal with sexual experiences and feelings. But, each member participates in the creative process, including the writing of the songs, making this group's music a truly collaborative effort.

While George may get the women, I think that it is Zach Blair who gives the group their real energy. His onstage antics and lead guitar playing made the live version of Hagfish an entertaining and energetic experience. The album itself does not match up to the live version of the band, but it is lively and a good selection for punk fans.
Copyright © 1996, Rational Alternative Digital