Ska is one of those things you either really like or want to kill with fire. It’s hard to find middle ground with the fans and detractors in that genre.
And then there was Reel Big Fish. Specifically, Cheer Up!
Don’t let the lead here fool you. Reel Big Fish is a ska band. They always have been. Cheer Up! is a ska album. But at the same time, it’s not. It’s got a much harder edge that anything the Fish have done before. And you gotta love them for it.
It’s almost like someone was making a big ska cake and they clumsily knocked the entire bag of rock and roll into the mixing bowl. Instead of throwing it out, they said “meh” and popped it in the oven.
It’s not quite what the rude boys were used to, but there wasn’t enough skank on the music to generalize it. People were confused.
Then they threw on an a cappella version of Old Blue Eyes’ “New York, New York” and upped the “out of left field” quotient by about four flying Japanese hotdogs. You know… out there.
Every now and then, an album comes along and shakes up everything you thought you knew about music.
But then, some people take their tunes too seriously. Lighten up, Rob Gordon.
For the rest of us, there are just amazing albums. Such as today’s pick: Weezer’s 1994 release. Most call it The Blue Album.
Any geek worth his d20’s and plenty of norms have this CD stashed away. It’s a triple platinum release, so there’s at least 3 million people running around with this gem. That says something about the appeal.
You see, the 90’s were a dark time for rock and roll. Not in that it was bad. As a matter of fact, the 90’s were one of the best times for rock. But the popular subject matter shifted away from how awesome everything was in the 70’s to the jaded doom and gloom gen-Xers are always shoving down our throats.
All love was failure and heartbreak in the 90’s. Then Weezer came along and sang “Holiday” to us.
Suddenly, our collective hearts softened and life didn’t seem so bad.
Too bad they kept going after The Green Album. I’d like to remember them fondly, but alas and alack.
Despite everyone calling it hardcore punk, DK’s debut album doesn’t sound like hardcore punk. Or punk at all, really. I’d place it somewhere around surf rock on the tail end of amphetamine psychosis.
It’s a politically charged album for sure. Attacks on the upper class, certain politicians and the establishment in general are par for the course in this half-hour ride. But there’s plenty of completely off the wall stuff to jam to as well.
If you do have a copy and you’re having a bad day, skip to track 10. If “Stealing People’s Mail” doesn’t cheer you up then… well, you’re probably an upstanding citizen that can’t find the humor in minor federal crimes.