I must admit that, when I was first assigned to review Candy Coated Fury I was completely unaware that Reel Big Fish was still making music. Ska, as a genre, seems to have to left the mainstream consciousness and faded back into the niche market that it used to be. That being said, there is a tightness and precision that exists in Ska that I sometimes miss and Reel Big Fish have always been shining examples of that and this album is no exception.
If nothing else can be said about Candy Coated Fury, it is a damned fun album. There is a humour that undercuts all of the songs on the tracklist and I have to say…it is refreshing to hear a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Thematically, the album explores relationships. Not just the relationships of boyfriend-girlfriend but the way that people interact with each other. Of course, with titles such as Everyone Else Is An Asshole, and Your Girlfriend Sucks this is all done in a very tongue and cheek manner. The thing is it works . Whether is the light lyrical tone, the consistency in sound, or just the overwhelming desire to throw yourself into a mosh pit, the whole thing come together into a cohesive structure.
Don’t Stop Skankin’ is a great little number that oddly reminds me of the old classic Minnie The Mooch before it segues into an arrangement of Richie Valens’s Oh Donna (though now it has been changed to Oh Rudy). From here we move to Famous Last Words, which to me feels to be the most ambitious song of the album. Good play on dynamics, solid vocals and harmonies, and a pace that moves at a fast stroll. The song is damned catchy.
My personal favourite of the album though is the closer which is a fantastic cover of The Promise by When In Rome. The song is classic and cheesy and the cover is new and cheesy and just all kinds of wonderful.
Is this album a masterpiece? No. Not even close. It isn’t trying to be though. All the Reel Big Fish sought to do with this album was create some music that is fun and peppy and just basically a good time in audio form. As far as I’m concerned, they succeeded.
Tags: album review, Candy Coated Fury, Chris angel, Punk, reel big fish, Reel Big Fish - Candy Coated Fury album review, Rock, ska