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Reel Big Fish
Monkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free
Rock Ridge Music
www.reelbigfish.com


Third wave ska? Seriously, there's a "third wave ska"? I didn't even know there was a first or a second. I just thought there was ska. But in my research on the band Reel Big Fish, I found myself reading an article on Third Wave Ska. Ok, so third wave ska is basically a music genre derived from the fusion of Jamaican ska with various American and British styles of music, like rock, punk, and jazz. It's usually used to refer to all ska bands formed in the 1980s or later. Other bands in this "wave" include The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime and Less Than Jake. Now, the ska movement isn't quite as prominent as it was about a decade ago, however the fans are still there. And with RBF's latest album, they've managed to keep the genre alive and kicking (literally).

Monkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free is possibly the best album title ever. A title like this could have only come out of the heads of Aaron, Scott, Derek, Dan, Ryland, and John. This newest masterpiece follows nicely in line with the creative flow that the band has developed. In the true form of an American ska band the album includes songs that invoke many emotions; Like anger in "Another F.U. Song", or philosophical in "Will The Revolution Come?" and even happiness in "Everybody's Drunk." This is one of those albums that doesn't really have a point. And that's the beauty of it. It's music that you can dance to and not have to worry about the "hidden meaning" or what Aaron (vocals) was trying to say when he wrote "F you, F me"? The strength of the album and the music lies in the brass... the brass instruments to be exact. Trumpet, trombone and saxophone make every song so powerful, you'd think they were going to jump out of your stereo. This album isn't much different than their previous works, but that is what makes it so great. Reel Big Fish fans don't want the music to change; the less it does, the more they'll buy. There is one random bit that's thrown into the mix, the song "Another Day In Paradise." Which if you haven't figured it out already, is a cover of a Phil Collins song. But if the lighter, possibly poppy songs are what you're looking for then turn to "The New Version Of You" and "Call You" for that warm fuzzy feeling. For old school RBF sound, i.e. the extremely crazy tempo and basic lyrics, listen to "Another F.U. Song" or "My Imaginary Friend," which is also good for moshing.

With this being the band's first album on their own [since leaving their label], they were able to do things their own way... and their way is taking the music back to the style from the beginning, from their first albums. Therefore, if you're a fan of Turn The Radio Off or simply looking for an excuse to kick your feet out in front of you (a.k.a. ska), then this album is definitely worth the money. Besides, the Monkeys are for Nothin'.

-Rachel Fredrickson


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