CD Review: Aquabats Fight Sharks

Original: February 22, 2011 Issue 11

By: Whitney De Valroger

Staff Writer

 

“I’m a shark fighter, I fight sharks” are the first words heard on the new Aquabat’s new album. No, the band does not condone wrestling underwater predators. These words are there as a declaration to prepare the listener for yet another solid outing with the zany Southern California band.

The Aquabats formed back in 1994 as an eight piece third wave ska band, but has since trimmed down over the years to five members. Their sound has also shifted to a synthesized pop punk theme, but the band has never forgotten their calling as a self-proclaimed rock-n-roll superhero team.

Their newest album, “Hi-Five Soup!,” which debutted in stores Jan. 18, is the fifth full-length studio offering from the band. While the group keeps with the new wave influence of their previous album, “Charge!!,” it does mark an Aquabats first: the inclusion of other artists. The album features guest vocals such as Biz Markie and Matt Chapman, also known as Strong Bad of Homestar Runner, the internet cartoon.

The new album is sure to please the many Aquacadets and newcomers alike. That said, this album, and band for that matter, is not for everyone. It has heavy synthpop influence. Those looking for soulful, meaningful lyrics should look elsewhere, as the album has ridiculous, almost goofy lyrics.

Songs such as “Food Fight on the Moon!” and “Poppin’ a Wheelie!” are literally about the aforementioned titles. It is not an exaggeration when stating that there is nothing comparable to an Aquabats album. Adding Biz Markie and Strong Bad to the mix brings a new flair to the vocal sound, but only for a brief verse each.

This album is for someone with an open mind and free time. It will not teach you any fundamentals of life, nor will it preach any meaningful message, other than jumping a bike off a roof is totally rad! (Disclaimer: Do not attempt.) What it will do is entertain you for over half an hour with new sounds and catchy songs.

Instead of listening to that same ol’ Katy Perry song over and over again, try something new. The band has been around for 17 years, so they must be doing something right. Just remember to stay away from sharks when listening; you may feel the rage to fight them.