Review: Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury

Review: Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury

Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury
1.) Everyone Else is an Asshole
2.) Punisher
3.) She’s Not the End of the World
4.) Don’t Let Me Down Gently
5.) I Know You Too Well to Like You
6.) Hiding in My Headphones
7.) I Dare You to Break My Heart
8.) Your Girlfriend Sucks
9.) Don’t Stop Skankin’
10.) Famous Last Words
11.) Lost Cause
12.) I Love/You Suck
13.) P.S. I Hate You
14.) The Promise

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Record Label: Rock Ridge Music
Official Website: Reel Big Fish

Group Background:
Celebrating their twenty-year anniversary, Huntington Beach, CA’s Reel Big Fish are ska-punk legends in their own right. The band’s rise to fame came in 1996 with the release of the single, “Sell Out.” The single received heavy radio play throughout the U.S. and MTV’s support for the song’s quirky video. The group was also featured in the major motion picture Basketball. Along with No Doubt, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime and others, Reel Big Fish helped to launch the genre into the mainstream—ultimately, allowing them to take their rightful place among the most influential North American bands of the third wave of ska.

Album Review:
Simply put, Reel Big Fish went back to their roots and produced a straight-forward ska-punk effort on “Candy Coated Fury.” The high energy album features the familiar sounds of a hard-charging horn section, sing-alongs, straightforward, angry lyrics and a glimpse into the complex workings of singer-songwriter, producer and band frontman Aaron Barrett.

The theme of “Candy Coated Fury” is unmistakable and is a literal soundtrack for relationships, especially really bad ones. The song titles include words and phrases like “asshole,” “I hate you” and “break my heart.” The album’s first song, “Everyone Else is an Asshole” sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is full of catchy one-liners and tons of sophomoric humor—everything fans have grown to love and expect from Reel Big Fish. In all, the album is a twisting roller coaster ride of “I love you, but I also hate you…so go f*ck yourself!”

“Candy Coated Fury” features—for the first time in nearly twenty years—a saxophone. The woodwind is prominently featured in several of the albums songs, adding smoothness to the raw, harsh sounds of the trumpet and trombone. Not-to-mention, the sax gives a more finished feel to the band’s horn section. A perfect example can be found on the instrumental-jam, “Don’t Stop Skankin’,” where sax-player Matt Appleton takes the listener for a ride.

The reggae-infused “Hiding in My Headphones” is a fun groove filled tune, that is heavy on the horns. The song features Laila and Barney Boom of Sonic Boom Six and the return of ska veteran and collaborator Coolie Ranx. The collaboration is a welcomed addition, and, along with a handful of other songs on the album, demonstrates that Reel Big Fish is serious about reconnecting with the classic sound that put them on the map.

Written & Reviewed By: Kit Chalberg

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]