Ska isn't dead. Don't listen to the jerks that try to tell you it is.
Reel Big Fish released a new album, Candy Coated Fury, today, and it's one of the better they've released in their lengthy career.
RBF's first album of (mostly) original material since 2007's Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free, Candy Coated Fury combines all of the band's best qualities - singer/guitarist Aaron Barrett's signature cynical/angsty lyrics, bouncy ska-punk guitar riffs and a luscious horn section.
More than anything, the Brass Factor is the album's strongest element. Dan Regan and John Christianson are the stars on nearly every song, providing some of the best ska horns this band has seen in some time. Nearly every song is about women/relationships/"that girl and why she sucks", and so on, themes that have always been the band's forte.
Everyone Else is an Asshole, the record's opening number, sets the mood perfectly, and is led by a killer horn/guitar match-up that flashes back to the 1990s' excellence that was Turn the Radio Off. The next track, Punisher, matches hard guitars with a joyous horn refrain just like on the first few songs of Why Do They Rock So Hard? There's even another great instrumental song, the groove-laden Don't Stop Skankin', and two covers - of the 1980s' gem The Promise and The Wonder Stuff's Don't Let Me Down Gently.
If you haven't gotten the message yet, Candy Coated Fury is the Reel Big Fish you've always loved, but with the freedom that comes with being full-fledged independent band (having long since left Jive Records).
Give this one a spin if you dig old-school RBF, horns, and cynical skank-pit anthems. And if you don't like those things, re-evaluate your life.