Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Written by: PP on 30/01/2011 07:56:00
The Aquabats! are quite possibly one of the most retarded bands I've ever come across. They formed in Huntington Beach, California back in 1994 for the sole purpose of ridiculing the third-wave ska scene, reportedly playing their first ever show with no less than fourteen trumpeters on stage. According to what I've heard, their shows are nothing short of outrageously retarded as the band often gets attacked by super villains mid set. Not just another day at the office, and as you might imagine, the unserious, light-hearted attitude reflects on their recorded music as well.
"Hi-Five Soup!" is the fifth Aquabats album, and their first one since 2005. The artwork speaks volumes about what kind of record you're dealing with, but let me just spell it out again by mentioning couple of topics that are explored: fighting sharks ("I am a shark fighter, I fight sharks, I fight them in the water because that's where they are") on "The Shark Fighter!", having a food fight on the moon on "Food Fight On The Moon!". It goes without saying that the metaphorical tongue is so far in their cheek it's in danger of creating a gaping hole where your cheek used to be.
And that's perfectly fine, because aside from being ridiculously retarded in terms of lyrics, the band matches it with ultra poppy, overblown, over-the-top, synth-led electro pop punk. A song like "Poppin' A Wheelie" is an up-beat punk pop piece, whereas "B.F.F.!" recalls Len's one-hit-wonder "Steal My Sunshine" in every possible way, and "Hey Homies!" reaches out to trailer trash hip hop with the purpose of making fun of it. Light ska-vibes are also present, but the dominant usage of synths that make Motion City Soundtrack sound down-to-earth leads the band cheekily into the realm of pop rock.
The way I see it is that there are only three kinds of people in this world. One, people who love to laugh and have simple, light-hearted fun and don't mind their music lacking any and all artistic ambition as long as it makes them smile. Two, serious, sad people who don't like having fun (did I just describe emos by accident?), and three, people who just don't know The Aquabats yet. The first group will also love bands like Patent Pending, Bowling For Soup, Guttermouth and other bands who thrive on ridiculous lyrics plus a visibly and audibly unserious attitude to their music and the surrounding world, whereas the second group will simply deem Aquabats juvenile and/or stupid. They are missing the point completely, however, and I feel sorry for them not only because "Hi-Five Soup!" is a hilarious record, but also because it's a damn catchy one with nearly no weak tracks whatsoever.
Download: The Legend Is True!, The Shark Fighter!
For the fans of: Suburban Legend, Big D And The Kids Table, Patent Pending, Reel Big Fish
Release date 18.01.2010