Review: Reel Big Fish – Candy Coated Fury

Candy Coated Fury is the seventh album from ska heavyweights Reel Big Fish, and it finds the group in familiar territory, showcasing the trademark sound that they have continued to perfect throughout their career. This means that lots of “nahs” and “heys” dominate many a chorus in the best possible way. The song structures are simple and predictable, but they are so catchy that listeners won’t be complaining. This is the album’s greatest strength: pumping out head-bobbing jams with ease. The record also stays familiar to the Reel Big Fish tradition lyrically, with a sarcastic and condescending tone evidenced by song titles such as “Everyone Else Is an Asshole”, “I Know You Too Well to Like You Anymore”, and “Your Girlfriend Sucks”. The lyrics fit the music well, though; the tempo and instrumentation of the songs make what could be seen as plain mean lyrics seem more playful and light-hearted. This has a lot to do with vocalist Aaron Barrett, who basically comes off like a rebellious teenager (despite being 37 years old, he can still pull it off). The album does start to wear thin towards the back end – not because the quality of the songwriting diminishes, but more so because the songs are all so similar in style that it starts to feel repetitive. If the album was slimmed down a of couple songs, or provided more variety throughout its 51 minutes, it would deliver a much more memorable punch for the listener. This is only a minor complaint, though, as the album makes for a very fun listen even if the band don’t experiment with their sound. They know what they do best, and they have proved it time and time again. With Candy Coated Fury, Reel Big Fish add another solid album to their catalogue that will satisfy anyone familiar with the genre looking for a simple, enjoyable listen. And the album cover is awesome, too.

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