Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury
Record Label: Rock Ridge
Release Date: July 31, 2012
What do you say when a band that has been around for a long time all of a sudden puts out their best album in over a decade? Do you say that they are back? If so, then I can gladly announce that Reel Big Fish is BACK! Their new album Candy Coated Fury is a catchy ska powerhouse that grabs you by the ears and forces you to dance and sing-along. It takes everything you love about Reel Big Fish and cranks it up to 10…I mean 11. This is easily their best album since Turn the Radio Off or Why Do They Rock so Hard? (depending on which you like more).
I think the largest strength of this album is in the variety of topics that the lyrics cover. I think a lot of people in all kinds different situations can relate to the songs on this album. There are songs for people breaking up, people getting dumped, people starting relationships, blaming your problems on everyone else, dealing with a stalker, having a friend whose girlfriend sucks, self-doubt, etc. Basically if you have lived a normal life up until this point there should be a song or two on the album that will put a smile on your face and make you think “I know that feeling.” And just in case you are unsure which song covers which topics, the titles pretty explicitly tell you what the song is about. There is no need for metaphors when writing a song about someone’s girlfriend who sucks, just name it “Your Girlfriend Sucks” and get on with it. If you (or somebody you know) are going through a tough break up, put on “She’s Not the End of the World” to realize that life goes on.
I can now say that Candy Coated Fury features what has quickly become my all-time favorite Reel Big Fish song in “I Dare You to Break My Heart,” which is a pretty impressive feat considering the great catalog of songs they already have. Everything just comes together so perfectly in this song, the catchy music and fun lyrics – I feel like this is Reel Big Fish at their best. Even if you choose not to check out the album as a whole, at least listen to this song.
They also show that they are one of the best bands when it comes to featuring guest female vocals on the track “I Know You Too Well to Like You Anymore.” The combination of male and female vocals on this song works so well I am starting to wonder why they just don’t add a female vocalist to the band full time. Not to mention that it is nice to hear both the male and female sides of a souring relationship in a song.
“Don’t Let Me Down Gently” might be one of the more simpler songs on the album, but the chorus is so easy to sing along with that it really stands out. One might not even recognize this is a cover song (originally by the band The Wonderstuff) since they put their own spin on it so well (just like they have done with other covers in their career).
I don’t want to make it seem like this album is perfect or anything, because there are parts of it I don’t care for that much. “Hiding in My Headphones” is a reggaeton influenced track with some high pitched guest vocals that gets real annoying real fast. “Don’t Stop Skankin” is an almost entirely instrumental song, which some people will probably like but I personally didn’t care for.
It took several listens of the album for me to realize how perfect the title is. The subject matter of the majority of the songs on this album are pretty angry and negative, but presented in such an upbeat and catchy way that you don’t really notice. The juxtaposition is really quite impressive. It really is fury that has been candy coated, in an audio form. If you have ever liked Reel Big Fish in the past but sort of drifted away from them in recent years, check this album out. If you just like listening to music that is fun, check this out. Reel Big Fish has been around for a while, but they appear to only be getting better. It might just be time for them to Sell Out.