Review by Angela Blasi
Reel Big Fish’s latest album, Candy Coated Fury out on Rock Ridge Music, has been hailed as a return to their earlier sound; complete with fun, frantic humorous energy. Opening with “Everyone Else is an Asshole,” the band sets the precedent with a choir of voices chanting the song title for what will become 14 tracks of a great breakup album. Highlighting the experience of a bad relationship with all its trials and tribulations, Reel Big Fish manages to capture the spirit of having loved someone so much you eventually hate them with the candid track “I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore,” featuring Julie Stoyer of the band Dick and Jane. In four and a half minutes, Stoyer and Barrett exchange blows while telling a love story gone horrifyingly sour. And what is Reel Big Fish without cover tunes? For their 7th studio album they have chosen to cover The Wonder Stuff’s “Don’t Let Me Down Gently.” Adding the classic RBF up tempo ska to this catchy track, it fits the album’s theme well, though stylistically hasn’t been altered very much. However, I appreciate the second cover on Candy Coated Fury, “The Promise” originally recorded by When in Rome. If you’ve ever seen the video of the original version, then you’ve basked in all its long-haired, synthesized glory. Despite being a slower track, and thus the last one in the lineup, it maintains the bands sense of humor while still being relevant to the concept of the album. It’s a great cover, as they manage to transform the song with a swaying reggae vibe. From start to finish the 7th son of Reel Big Fish has successfully given fans the energetic brand of ska-ified sarcasm and hysterics that lured them in on Everything Sucks. After a few listens through, you find yourself ready to sing along all the while wondering where this album was back when you needed it.
Two notable songs are “Hiding in my Headphones” and “Don’t Stop Skankin’.” Admittedly, these weren’t my favorite at first play due to their repetitive nature. I got kind of bored with them, until I got up and started moving a precursor for what could be a blast in a live performance. The band will be touring Europe fall of 2012 and eventually Brazil and Argentina. Regardless of when they make it to your town, this latest musical work is a definite must for all RBF fans and anyone who can appreciate the guts and glory of heart-break up.