Ambitious Denton, TX indie rockers, Fishboy, return with yet another narrative concept album.
Coinciding with a 160 page 5.5×5.5 comic, An Elephant centers on the apocryphal story of Topsy the elephant, who was supposedly electrocuted in a public execution by Thomas Edison in 1903, though historical sources refute the claim that the inventor had anything to do with it. Regardless, in Fishboy’s version told from the elephant’s perspective, Topsy returns as an angry ghost that haunts Edison after the electrocution, forcing him to face the consequences of his actions. Smart, snappy power pop-inflected songs become angry diatribes against an unforgivable injustice, like The Kinks filtered through the lo-fi immediacy of Crayon. It’s an emotional work of art that is an introspective as it is angry.
Whether or not Thomas Edison actually had anything to do with it, Topsy’s murder remains a scourge on humanity’s collective conscience. Yes, she killed three people, but most likely wouldn’t have if she hadn’t been so horrendously abused by her captors. Thanks to Fishboy for reminding us what shits we can be.
It’s not pleasant, but you view a film of the electrocution, which took place in Coney Island’s Luna Park, here. Again, the accompanying historical information is suspect, though the brutality clearly is not.