I know The Aquabats are only loosely connected to ska music anymore, but a lot of SkaSpotters here seem to be fans, so I figured I'd bring up their new album - 'Hi-Five Soup!' - which is dropping next week.
I've been waiting almost six years for the follow-up to the fantastic 'Charge!!', and 'Hi-Five Soup!' seems like the wait will be well worth it. Just like what they've been releasing for the last 12 years, it's mostly punky New Wave and synthpop with a dash or two of ska, though from what I've heard so far, it's musically more along the lines of 'Vs. the Floating Eye of Death!' and 'Myths & Legends' than 'Charge!!', which could be a good thing or a GREAT thing.
For those of you open-minded enough to get past the lack of horns, are you gonna be picking this up? What are your thoughts so far? Anybody catching them on tour this month?
Though their sound may have changed, they're definitely still the same old Aquabats. I'd go as far as saying 'Hi-Five Soup!' is actually the long-awaited thematic sequel to 'The Fury' in terms of uninhibited silliness and irreverent humor (something which 'Charge!!' lacked). That's really the core appeal of the band, isn't it? I don't recommend 'Hi-Five Soup!' to ska fans, obviously, but for anyone who's a fan of Aquabatian zaniness, it's a must.
It's really time for people to get over the whole "not ska anymore" thing...I mean, the Aquabats played ska for 4 years and have been playing other styles of music for almost 13. The ska was getting stale (1/5 of 'Fury' was covers of 'Return' songs) and they've been keeping it fresh and eclectic with every release. It boils down to whether you're a fan of The Aquabats themselves or just a fan of ska-punk: would people rather the 'Bats go the Reel Big Fish route and re-release the same songs over and over again? Then again, I'm just as big a fan of synthpop and New Wave as I am ska, so I'm partially biased. :)