Review Summary: Finally, FINALLY, Reel Big Fish are on their own again. And with the last few CDs slowly becoming more and more bitter, the fact that they're independent and loving it shows on "Monkey's For Nothin' and the Chimps for Free"
Alright, I’m going to start by saying this is my first review, so constructive criticism would be nice. Notice CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, not flaming. With that said, I’m going to jump into my review.
When Reel Big Fish (hereafter referred to as RBF ‘cause I’m lazy) recorded their last studio album, while good, it left somewhat of a bitter taste in the mouth because of hat the songs were about. Songs like “The Last Show,” “Say Goodbye,” and “Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em)” were very bitter, and mostly were jabs at JIVE Record label, where RBF were the only ska band. Now, however, that their label has dropped them, the music is fun and ridiculous again.
begins with Aaron singing over short guitar chords before the band quickly jumps in. While the lyrics don’t exactly make much sense, they’re certainly entertaining. During the chorus, we get a different style of music each time they run through; rap, reggae, death-metal. The horns are actually audible, and Scott’s high-pitched vocals are, of course, impressive as usual.
“Another F.U. Song”
is very short, just breaking a minute. Beginning with Aaron saying “Hey kids, it’s time to use the F word!” ...you can see where it’s going from there. “Live Your Dream”
and “My Imaginary Friend”
are both slightly downcast songs, reminiscent of “Where Have you Been.”
along with “Will the Revolution Come"”
shows the reggae side of RBF, with a very simple, yet catchy chorus. “Slow down, you’ve got to slow down and take it easy.” That line by itself should easily get stuck in your head. Also some good guitar work by Aaron and impressive vocals by Scott near the end. There’s also a nice solo by Little Johnny Christmas as well. “Will the Revolution Come"”
is a simple song, singing about how well… people need to take care of the world, because it’s going down the drains.
“The New Version of You”
starts off sounding a bit foreboding, but goes back into poppy ska, with RBF singing about someone who’s changed, and certainly not for better, as shown by the lyrics: “If there’s one thing I’d like to do, it’s KILL the… new version of you.”
belongs in RBF’s repertoire, along with songs like Drunk Again, Drinkin’, and of course, Beer. It’s a nice drunken anthem, not exactly the most challenging stuff, but certainly entertaining. “Please Don’t Tell Her I Have a Girlfriend,”
my personal least favorite track on the album, doesn’t have much to offer. Not very catchy, and for once, the lyrics are disappointing as well. While not horrible, I find myself skipping this track quite a bit.
Things pick back up after a bit of a lull with “Way Back.” I may be reading into it, but the lyrics seem to me that they’re talking about how they’re going back to the way they were before being signed on a major label, going back to the old RBF.
The next few songs are a couple new versions of older songs from “Everything Sucks.” Hate You, Call You, Why Do All Girls Think They’re Fat", I’m Her Man, all redone, and sounding amazing. And the final 2 songs on the CD contain my favorite, Til I Hit the Ground
, and Cannibal.
‘Til I Hit the Ground
start off with a catchy little group riff before breaking into a horn line and group vocals of “Sky is Falling! Now I’m Falling!” And then the verse is very catchy, and then goes back into the group vocals from the intro. And finally, Cannibal
closes out the CD with a very catchy (what else is new) chorus. And after the song seems to be over, it goes into a very nice peaceful instrumental version of Cannibal with piano and guitar. While not exactly RBF-ish, it’s a good close to the CD while maybe uncharacteristic.
Basically, RBF have finally started having fun writing and performing music again now that they’re back on their own. “Monkey’s for Nothin’ and the Chimps for Free” is the best studio album since “Turn the Radio Off” (IMO) with all but one great song. But hey, they can’t all be winners.