The Fury of the Aquabats is the second album from the southern California ska group The Aquabats. It was published by Time Bomb Records and distributed by BMG and is the second album to appear from this group. It totals fifty one minutes and seventeen seconds of upbeat fun.
The Aquabats dress up in silver and black spandex, pretend to be superheroes, and play some extremely fun-sounding ska music. The music on this album is not meant to have deep meaning (although there are some points to the music), this disc is just meant to be extremely fun and put a smile on your face. And it most certainly achieves that goal.
The opener, Super Rad! (3:02) is a geeky superhero anthem of sorts. The music is completely and totally standard ska, but upbeat ska, and it's just really fun. A completely fun, catchy, and appropriate opener.
Red Sweater! (3:24) has a lot of "doo wop" elements bracketing a ska-fueled love song of youth about a girl in a "red sweater with an alligator." It's also a song about acceptance, which is another mark in its favor lyrically.
Note: More than any other song (besides She's An Angel by They Might Be Giants), this song makes me think of my significant other. What exactly that says about my perspective on our relationship, who knows, but this is as fun as a love song can get in my opinion.
Magic Chicken! (3:40) is an ode to the delicacy that is chicken, with such classic lines as "I've got chicken all over my face, baby, and I'm coming home to you!" and a shout out to every well-known chicken restaurant there is.
Fight Song! (1:13) is a guitar heavy fast paced instrumental. Not bad, but almost out of place on the disc. Definitely not among my favorite tracks, but it doesn't really detract too much, either.
Cat With 2 Heads! (3:01) sounds like the soundtrack to a bad 1950's era science fiction movie with a ska touch. I think that's exactly what they were going for, and it definitely works. Plus, any song that talks about a cat with two heads who "ate all the New Kids on the Block" is all right in my book. "But little did I know that the power of atomic energy would create a giant two headed monster," indeed.
The Story of Nothing! (2:54) is the first example of a common theme that fills much of the rest of the album: sad lost love songs with absolutely upbeat ska music behind the lyrics. This is perhaps my favorite one to sing along to on the disc, besides perhaps Red Sweater! and the next track.
What can you really say about a song entitled Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates! (4:03) which relates the tale of brave Captain Hampton and his battle against the fierce midget pirates of Willygoat? Be prepared, though; if you listen to this with me, I'm prone to loudly sing along with the chorus on this one. The sheer glee of the song brings it out of me.
Martian Girl! (2:46), much like Cat With 2 Heads!, sounds like the soundtrack to a bad sci-fi movie. Not as good as some of the better tracks (Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!, Red Sweater!, Idiot Box!, Play Dough Revisited!), but still a solid ska track.
Attacked By Snakes! (5:01) is a tale of a snake attack with some Arabian-style musical themes. This song doesn't seem to progress well and drags, making it, in my opinion, one of the weaker tracks on the disc.
Idiot Box! (2:00), on the other hand, is one of the strong tracks. Lyrically, it derides people watching too much television, skewering them quite effectively. Plus, the line "I know every single ending of every single Scooby-Doo" and the sound reminiscent of Reel Big Fish's classic Sell Out contribute to this solid track.
Powdered Milkman! (3:04) is some sort of sequel to Super Rad! where our musical heroes meet their arch nemesis, Powdered Milkman. The undeniable evil that is powdered milk makes this track really hit home.
As I mentioned at the start, My Skateboard! (2:43) is a sad song of love lost with a ska sound, and the contrast between the upbeat music and sad lyrics makes for an interesting mix.
Phantasma Del Mar! (3:12) sounds like some sort of Super Friends-inspired "It's a sad time for our heroes" instrumental. It fits well next to "My Skateboard!" to provide the most downbeat section of the entire disc.
Then, suddenly, a banjo appears and we have an ode to lobsters and friendship. Lobster Bucket! (2:42) has almost a hot jazz/Squirrel Nut Zippers feel to it, which really makes it stand out from the rest of the album.
Theme Song! (1:49) is just that; it sounds like the theme song to a Saturday morning cartoon superhero show starring The Aquabats. After hearing this, I almost wonder if that's what they were shooting for.
Theme Song! ends the album proper, but there is a hidden track buried about 2:30 into the sixteenth track. It starts off with some guitar work and a spoken voice bit that sounds like a hero's introduction from an old TV show. After that, the song turns into Playdough Revisited! (6:43), a reprisal of one of the more popular tracks from their first album, The Return of the Aquabats. It's a completely wonderful ode to being a child of the 1980s; the lyrics make anyone who grew up in the era smile. Here's a snippet: "When I was a little man / Playdough came in a little can / I was Star Wars' biggest fan / Now I'm stuck without a plan / G.I. Joe was an action man / Shaggy drove the Mystery Van / Devo was my favorite band / Take me back to Happy Land."
This album just carries an extremely upbeat feel, led by playful lyrics and excited horn sections. Other albums that you may enjoy if you enjoyed this one are The Return of the Aquabats by the same group, Turn The Radio Off by Reel Big Fish, and Experiment Zero by Man or Astroman?