Anyone ready to ska out with Reel Big Fish?
Get ready katz and kittenz, cause RBF comes out strong with Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album and shows us why they rock so hard. After dropping Jive Records, RBF is on its own and doing what it likes, such as this triple-disc release of two CDs and one DVD recorded live during a seven-show tour. If you think that these guys were just a one-hit wonder, guess again.
Sure you won’t hear them on the FM dial, maybe “Sell Out” if that, but then again what FM station would play “Turn the Radio Off”. There isn’t a non-public station on the dial that has the balls to play any of these songs. Some say their lyrics are more comedic than touching, well fuck them. RBF plays to the thoughts and ideas of their fans and this set gives it back to those who have followed them from the beginning. The CDs were recorded over a seven-show stretch and then edited, giving the tracks a better flow; the DVD was recorded live at the Alley in Fullerton, CA.
Disc One has 17 tracks that include “Trendy”, “Everything Sucks”, “Beer” and the Ah-Ha song “Take on Me”. Songs such as “Ban the Tube Top” and “She’s Famous Now” rock hard and have classic lyrics, classic in the sense that not only do you sing along but your laughing at the same time because of what’s being said. That’s what Reel Big Fish is about, good music and having a good time. They also cover The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry”, and create a ska-punk version of a depressing song, lifting it up and making it fun.
The second CD has 18 tracks that include “Kiss Me Deadly”, “Your Guts (I Hate’em)” and my all-time favorite “She has a Girlfriend Now”. It ends with the band’s only radio hit “Sell Out”, which propelled them into the spotlight back in the early ’90s. (That’s was when Matt Wong, the bassist, was trying to date my cousin Lil’, but that’s a story for another time.) All the tracks on both of the CDs are full of energy coming from both the band and the audience.
The DVD is awesome and it starts out with the high dose of power. Starting off by ripping into “Trendy”, the band jams on “Everything Sucks”, before moving onto “Turn the Radio Off”. RBF takes all three and stretches them out into what seems to be one continuous lyrical jam. The strength of the band shows clearly here as they warm their audience up, preparing them for one hell of a rockin’ show. All of the songs on the DVD can be found on the CDs, but they are arranged differently, which makes the DVD seem like a whole other show.
The DVD also has a special guest. Rachel Minton from Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer drops by to lend vocals on “She Has a Girlfriend Now”, which was originally recorded with Gwen Stefani. Not only does she have a beautiful voice, but she is smoking hot too. “Unity”, which is a song done by Operation Ivy is also covered. Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead lends his hot rapping vocals to this track and shows why he has an awesome flow. The extras on the DVD include a band rehearsal, what happens in the editing room, and special day with Aaron and Scott “Aaron and Scott Unplugged” which is fucking hilarious.
Reel Big Fish is totally underrated and doesn’t get the respect from the music industry or the radio networks. That’s fine, because RBF, now own a label, and don’t need the hype that the industry shits out. They have their fans, and what loyal fans we are. RBF is to ska what the Grateful Dead were for up-and-coming jam bands. They follow their own path and make music the way they want without having to sellout.
If you want to know why these guys rock so hard, all the evidence is here. As for me, I can’t wait till they come back around on tour again, ’cause babies, I’ll be there in the pit, sweating like a pig going crazy with Reel Big Fish. Thanks again, boys, for over a decades worth of great music and a shit load of fun.
Written by Fumo Verde