Reel Big Fish

Candy Coated Fury

Written by: PP on 31/07/2012 00:21:43

At this stage on their career, did anybody expect Reel Big Fish to change radically away from their high-energy ska punk sound that's heavy on trombones, trumpets, saxophones, and silly, even juvenile lyricism? I didn't think so. In that sense, "Candy Coated Fury" is exactly the Reel Big Fish album you've been expecting, and in terms of how infectious the songs are and how likely they are to seduce you towards the dance floor, it might even be their best album since the 2002 classic "Cheer Up". It might be unfair to attribute this to the departure of longtime trumpeter / rhythm guitarist Scott Klopfenstein, but it certainly sounds like a huge weight has been lifted from the their shoulders because I can't recall hearing Reel Big Fish having this much fun on an album in a long while.

Basically, "Candy Coated Fury" is exactly what its title suggests: an angry album lyrically dressed in silly concepts. Everyone's an asshole, all the girlfriends are shitty (both yours and your friends'), everyone sucks, your friends are terrible, etc. It's in stark contrast to the upbeat melodies that draw out the inner skanker in you, or the relaxed chill-out beats of songs like "Hiding In My Headphones", which all project a summery vibe that doesn't really fit at all with all the negativity happening in the lyrics. But somehow, I think that's the point: bright meets dark, and so forth, you know?

At the same time, "Candy Coated Fury" has moments which see Reel Big Fish at their most experimental to date. There are some pure reggae songs, there are experiments with alternating male/female vocals (courtesy of Julie Stoyer), two-tone songs, and pure ska songs where the punk rhythm has been dropped in favour of something akin to The Capital Beat or Babylove & The Van Dangos. There's also some unusual sound exploration taking place on occasion that I haven't really heard on ska albums before, and definitely not on a Reel Big Fish album in the past. That's exactly what the band needed to inject a newfound energy to them: variation from the tried-and-tested formula, which is otherwise delivered at formidable strength here in the form of some insanely catchy songs. Basically, this combination allows for a refreshed version of Reel Big Fish, and although it won't convince the ska-haters to jump onboard, it'll remind people who've been questioning whether RBF still have it in them recently to return to the band and to their live shows.

Download: Everyone Else Is An Asshole, She's Not The End Of The World, Your Girlfriend Sucks
For the fans of: Big D And The Kids Table, Suburban Legends, Streetlight Manifesto
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.07.2012
Rock Ridge Music

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