Best Of Us For The Rest Of Us, A - Reel Big Fish

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Best Of Us For The Rest Of Us, A - Reel Big Fish

1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Rock Ridge - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 26/07/2010 - 677516128827

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Review of "Best Of Us For The Rest Of Us, A - Reel Big Fish"

published 15/05/2011 | Ensnareddoom
Member since : 21/06/2010
Reviews : 51
Members who trust : 14
About me :
Pro 36 tracks of good time ska punk with humorous themes and singalong lyrics
Cons Not for everyone, Bad language throughout, Lyrics can be cheesy at times
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"It's Not So Bad Being Trendy........."

The 90s were a great time to be into the latest melding of pop punk and ska. With the exuberantly chirpy melody lines and high-school-hijinks-style lyrics, the scene became enormous in the mainstream spawning numerous huge hits and becoming the soundtrack to the youthful Summers of the era. One such band that hit the big time and now continues to have a cult following is Reel Big Fish. Their cynical sense of humour on top of memorable brass section melody lines and gritty punk-style guitars pushed them towards stardom initially with their worldwide hit, Sell Out, which detailed and poked fun at the manufactured nature of major label record companies. Although maintaining a moderate level of fame, RBF never reached this height of popularity again despite releasing many hook-laden singles, including their infamous cover of A-Ha's 'Take On Me' (which was also featured in the film 'BASEketball'). With 7 albums under their belt, there was most certainly a good repertoire of material to choose from.

Covering each album of the band's 19 year career, this best of has a wide selection of fan favourites, big hits and crowd pleasers that ensure to keep you dancing and skanking throughout. Due to numerous legal issues and label problems, this collection was almost entirely re-recorded specifically for this release. To hardcore fans, this could be seen as a sacrilege but the quality of the new recording is a lot tighter and better produced, obviously owing to advancements in the equipment on offer. Personally, I feel that this is a great improvement and brings new life into the older classics (in particular the earliest songs such as 'Everything Sucks' and 'Trendy') as well as bringing the newer songs together. All of the instruments are mixed better and the vocal layers are perfectly produced, making for the lyrics to be easily understood over all of the other instrumentation.

As much as I love the music, the vocals are what takes centre stage in this band.
Although the lyricists behind RBF tend to focus on cliche themes, they begin to use their own cynical comicality within it to provide something interesting to sing along to. My personal lyrical highlights on this collection include Sell Out, Don't Start a Band, Suckers, Trendy and Everything Sucks. Not only are the lyrics well written (for the most part) but the delivery is incredibly memorable. Lead vocalist and founding member, Aaron Barrett has a uniquely powerful voice that almost seems effortless without losing any of the passion and humour of the piece. This is matched by the layers of vocal harmonies which give RBF an extra dimension of musicianship.

Also included is a bonus disc of acoustic renditions of some of their hits (aptly titled 'Skacoustic'). These tracks are well recorded and provide a different ambience to the other studio material on the first disc. A nice curiosity but nothing essential to all but the completists.

Disc 1:

1. Sell Out
2. Take On Me
3. Beer
4. She Has A Girlfriend Now
5. Everything Sucks
6. Trendy
7. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too
8. In The Pit
9. The Set Up (You Need This)
10. Somebody Hates Me
11. You Don't Know
12. Suckers (This Ones For You)
13. Where Have You Been
14. Good Thing
15. Ban The Tube Top
16. Dont Start A Band
17. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)
18. Another F.U. Song
19. New Version of You
20. Party Down
21. Slow Down
22. Brown Eyed Girl

Disc 2 (Skacoustic):
1. Sell Out
2. Beer
3. Take On Me
4. She Has a Girlfriend Now
5. Another F.U. Song
6. Your Guts (I Hate 'em)
7. Suckers
8. Where Have You Been
9. Dont Start A Band
10. S.R.
11. 241
12. The Kids Dont Like it
13. Scott's A Dork
14. Nothin'

All in all, this is an amazing compilation of the most essential tracks from this modern ska phenomenon. Humorous, upbeat and energetic throughout every track of this massive collection: its impossible to not smile at some of the songs on offer. As this is a greatest hits, I would most certainly recommend this as a first purchase if you have not heard anything previously. Also, due to the fact that each of the songs (bar the final 3 on the first disc) has been recently re-recorded, other fans may be interested in checking this out.

For fans of Less Than Jake, Goldfinger and other ska punk bands. Even if you are unfamiliar with this style, I can imagine that this CD would be a good Summer album with its upbeat singalong choruses and exceptionally catchy hooks.

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Comments on this review

  • Violet_McCabre published 28/05/2011
    Great review, lots of information :-)
  • pest10 published 24/05/2011
    Excellent review, detailed with enough contextual information making it an enjoyable read.
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Product Information : Best Of Us For The Rest Of Us, A - Reel Big Fish

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Rock Ridge - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 26/07/2010 - 677516128827

Product Details

EAN: 677516128827


Listed on Ciao since: 19/07/2010