Written by: Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor
Okay, so I have to admit that I wasn’t even really sure that Reel Big Fish was still a band until a few months ago. They made headlines when they donated the proceeds from their Colorado show to the victims of the Dark Knight Rises movie theater shooting, then a few weeks later their newest release, Candy Coated Fury came my way.
After doing a bit of research, I don’t feel as bad about not knowing their status as a band, since Candy Coated Fury is their first album in five years.First off, I need to say that Candy Coated Fury is the most spot on title for an album that I have ever heard, it is as if they wrote their own record review. Every single track on this album is pure candy coated fury. Ska itself ever can feel too sad, there are just too many horns and Reel Big Fish never let the beat drop below on fire.
Though I totally loved Sell Out and their cover of Take On Me, I never became a Reel Big Fish (or ska for that matter) fan, but I do have to say that I have a soft spot in my heart for Reel Big Fish. Back when Sell Out was a mega hit and they were touring with The Mr. T Experience, I got the chance to see and meet these guys. They are just as silly and entertaining on and off stage as you would expect, and are some of the nicest dudes on the planet.
What endeared the world to Reel Big Fish from the get go was their humor mixed with clever lyrics and their inescapable poppiness, and Candy Coated Fury is full of that greatness. Candy Coated Fury is full of break up songs, the most upbeat, wry, catchy breakup songs you will ever hear. There something about the upbeat breakup song is so empowering, so much more than angry angst ridden songs and sorrowful ballads that we are used to hearing. Each song is hooky and will have you pretending you know the words before the song is over just so you can try to sing along.
Each track is pure Reel Big Fish style ska with a different element that will totally capture you. Great lyrics, great hooks, great guest vocals, great tempo, they have figured out how to suck someone into their album and not let them go until the whole thing is over. Not only is the title of the album awesome, but the song titles entice you to listen to every word of every song. The album kicks off with, Everyone Else Is An Asshole, okay this sound like something that I would enjoy, I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore, sound like something that we can all identify with, and Your Girlfriend Sucks is something that we all wanted to say at some time or another. Every song title is gold, but you get the point. My favorite track is Don’t Stop Skanking. It is one of the best instrumentals I have ever heard. I can picture this in an swanky swing club with sharp dressed men tossing their dance partners around with skirts billowing everywhere.
They have gone through a few lineup changes over the years, but they sound just as good as they did when they were at their peak of popularity. I hope that they break through the mainstream again with this album, from the heartbroken teenager to the bitter divorcée, the happy breakup song is something everyone can use in their life. So if you are a fan of ska or Reel Big Fish or just have a twang of nostalgia for 1997 you should check out Candy Coated Fury. And if you don’t believe me check out I Dare You To Break My Heart over at AOL (complete with cowbell) and the super awesome fan animated I Know You Too Well, To Like You Anymore.
On a side note, the ending of Don’t Stop Skanking has what seems to be a sample but I cannot for the life of me place it, can anyone give me some info?