Sound — 10
Reel Big Fish return with their latest album in a decent attempt to revive the third wave ska scene. This is their most recent album since Cheer Up! (2002) however, this album was well worth the wait. This album has much more ska on it, as apposed to punk/pop/straight rock. The horn section is probably less prominent on this album and more keyboards/synthesisers have been used. 01. The Fire - nice guitar parts, lively tempo. Reminds me slightly of Operation Ivy's "Sound System" 8/10. 02. Drinkin' - ska verses, punk choruses. Not one of the strongest songs on the album, but enjoyable 7.5/10. 03. Don't Start A Band - one of the highlights of the album, if not for the lyrics alone. Reel Big Fish at their most scathing, disguised in typical rock/punk pop fashion, with dabs of ska thrown in 10/10. 04. A-W-E-S-O-M-E - poor song. Almost disrupts the momentum of the album 5/10. 05. We Hate It - cover version. Fits very well with the album's theme. Good listen 9/10. 06. Turn The Radio Off - the lyrics aren't very subtle, but a good song regardless. Very catchy chorus 8/10. 07. Revolution - poor sound quality. Annoying but head-boppingly catchy 6.5/10. 08. The Bad Guy - a song that's easy to relate to. The verses are laid back and nice to listen to, but it's the chorus in which this song really shines. Extremely catchy, best chorus of the album. The chorus sounds similar to "Where have you been" 9/10. 09. Story Of My Life - not great sound quality. Great lyrics. Almost reggae like. Relatively calm 8/10. 10. The Joke's On Me - not so keen on this song, not much of a hook. Average 7/10. 11. One Hit Wonderful - one of the best Reel Big Fish songs of all time 10/10. 12. Last Show - I dare you to listen to this and not smile. Catchiest song of the album, yet one of the more worrying songs to listen to lyrically 10/10. 13. Say Goodbye - good lyrics. Probably one of the more punk orientated songs on the album 8/10. 14. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em) - yet another very catchy song to end the album. Basically reggae. The lyrics are daft, but genuinely made me laugh. I'm giving it 10/10, just because I know that from only a few listens, it's a song that I can use as a pick-me-up if I'm down.
Lyrics — 10
Lot's of people have complained about lyrics on this album. Personally, I'd like to see less songs about how awful Reel Big Fish thinks the media is, or how bitter they are about lost loves but then again, that wouldn't be Reel Big Fish at all now, would it? The lyrics are bitter, sarcastic and scathing, and I love them. Lyrically, the highlights on this album are "Don't Start A Band," "One Hit Wonderful" and "Say Goodbye." Aaron's singing is superb as always, and Scott's backing vocals are pleasant.
Overall Impression — 10
This album sends out mixed messages. Many Reel Big Fish fans are confused as to whether this album is indicating an imminent split-up. In my opinion, this would be tragic, as this is a fantastic effort from Reel Big Fish, and is one of my favourite 3rd wave ska albums of all time. If they do decide to split, then I think the band did themselves some justice, by releasing a great album which gives the 3rd wave ska scene some hope. Not all of the songs are good. A-W-E-S-O-M-E is irritating and lacks a point and the cover version of Revolution is pretty poor also. Generally, a very good album.