Still the most unfashionable punk sub-genre since records began, ska-punk endures (somehow) in 2012 with its biggest successes. Reel Big Fish are one of the bands that defined the genre closer to the turn of the century, and though they’d be the first to admit that ska-punk’s prime is behind them, ‘Candy Coated Fury’ is a fine showing from a band who knows how to play to their strengths.
Album opener ‘Everyone Is An Asshole’ is Reel Big Fish starting as they mean to go on, and honestly, if you’re still into this sort of ska or hate it, you’ll have made your mind up on the album by the end of this track. Bright horns pepper ‘Punisher’ and the album really just continues in this fashion through to the end.
Essentially, you’re not really in for a surprise with the record but it’s the good natured fun record that you’d expect from RBF – the fairly self explanatory ‘I Know You Too Well to Like You Anymore’ features a male/female crossover that takes about 30 seconds to drop a fart reference in, and ‘Your Girlfriend Sucks’ is the sort of silly ska-punk anthem that the band are exceptional at.
The Sonic Boom Six featuring ‘Lost In my Headphones’ tries out a little bit of crossover ska/hip hop to mixed effects, but it’s great to see the band try something new, ‘Don’t Stop Skankin’ is a rare minor key trad-ska effort that is more of an instrumental Bad Manners than it is standard Reel Big Fish, and album closer ‘The Promise’ has a laid back reggae feel that’s actually quite touching without the band’s trademark goofiness.
Overall, if you stick this on expecting some prog-rock, you’re an idiot. If you’re a fan of Reel Big Fish, we’re more than happy to report that you’ll have a good time. There’s more than a few fine additions to their live repertoire, and the band have most certainly honed their craft.