Sound — 8
Let me start by saying that The Aquabats have dropped their horn section. Does that make them not ska? No, but The Aquabats never really were ska in the first place. The music on Charge!! (the 'bats 5th CD) is very reminiscent of Devo, and '80s new wave bands, but with a punk/funk fusion. The guitar distortion is pretty much the same through out the entire album, and a few songs do sound the same, but the overall sound of the album overshadows that. The music is very dark sounding for an Aquabats album, but the lyrics and the feel of the album are anything but. Every song is tied together in some way (either through the band speaking, or by fading in or out) so the album flows nicely. The single Fashion Zombies, and the terrific Nerd Alert offer some very interesting guitar work that I've never seen. This is great driving music.
Lyrics — 10
Ah yes, the highlight of this album. The lyrics for this album are witty, clever, satirical, sarcastic, and by all means the most funny you'll ever hear. Although on every song the chorus is very repetitive, (and sometimes annoying) the writing is suburb. If there was a stand out track for the lyrical content on Charge!! it would be "Hot Summer Nights (Won't Last Forever)!" The MC Bat Commander (lead vocals) doesn't show his wide vocal range on this album, but his tone of voice definitely fits this album. The lyrics show that The Aquabats have matured some, but still are up to their wacky antics. Also, it seems that the songs show up's and down's that the 'bats have faced.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a phenomenal effort from The Aquabats. Charge!! is definitely a must buy for fans, and non-fans. Just by looking at the back of the album you can tell that the 'bats mean business, and are serious about what their doing (even if their music isn't so serious). If you have never heard of The Aquabats, or have heard of them and never picked up an album this isn't a bad place to start. Most people put if they lost it what they would do. I had cracked the CD case, so I went and got another (if that gives you any idea). Also, there is "trading cards" in each album, that are all equally funny so there is great reason to purchase multiple copys.