Review Summary: The soundtrack to twenty thousand-ish Aquacadets ejaculating.
The Aquabats appear to have lost their minds. Oh, wait, that’s old news. Ok, for the sake of argument, if they still had minds to lose, Radio Down!
would be the judge’s gavel pounding resulting in the group being carted off in candy and rainbow coated straight jackets to the sanitarium. Continuing down their synth-pop yellow brick road of recent years, Radio Down!
is everything you’d expect from the Aquabats: catchy and smile-inducingly charming.
The EP is half Blondie, half Billy Idol, the latter garnering a prominent nod in their upcoming full-length’s first single, the track this release shares it's name with. Featuring rapper, various-media-personality, and sometimes funny man Biz Markie, “Radio Down!” is the new-age new wave anthem for any teenager trying to forcibly remove an adult’s hand from the volume dial. It’s on “Best Day of My Life!” that the ‘bats start to test the limits of how much synth their listener wants in their ska. At times, this track’s sound seems just a little too forced, something even the feel-good-song-of-the-year lyrics can’t quite salvage.
just comes across as a tad too overproduced and artificial for it’s own good. Christian “MC Bat Commander” Jacobs’ snarky vocal delivery manages to retain the flair of the Aquabats of old, but where are the jingly-jangly guitars? The bumpin’ bass? Hell, I barely even remember the drums and I’m listening to this as I write. The cheesiness of it all (including the album art) is sure to appeal to the most die-hard of fans, but will probably act as a turn off for anyone expecting to hear the sounds of a bratty, old-fashioned ska act. This is hardly a bad indication of things to come on the band’s next full-length due out next year, but one would hope they find a better mix of old and new in their sound lest they become just another pop band using a synthesizer.