More like self-proclaimed superheroes than a band, Aquabats is an entertaining group, though its musical talent is not apparent.
The best thing about these eight freaks is their warped view of the world. The lyrics on The Fury of the Aquabats (Time Bomb Records) make it clear these are not normal people. And only in the world of ska could they gain any sort of recognition.
Though it plays ska, Aquabats can not be lumped together with bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Pietasters or Hepcat. The band mingles ska, a little rap and some They Might Be Giants. Exclamation marks at the end of every song title are a glimpse at what makes this group different.
“Powdered Milk Man!” is one of the weirder songs lyrically. No one likes powdered milk, but the band makes it evil. “There’s a drink around town/And it tastes like Foo . Breakfast cereal turns to Soup/Tastes like puke.”
After listening to the Mediterranean-sounding “Attacked by Snakes!” it becomes abundantly clear that these cats are not only odd, but also paranoid. Add to their fear of thousands of snakes ringing the doorbell, their fear of a giant squid pulling their train into the water, and there’s no contesting group members’ mental state.
But then again, they are the superheroes. They seem to believe they’ve been pitted against everything from magic chickens to cats with two heads.
As for the music, it’s a little on the harder side of ska. Horns are very present in every song. The fast-paced music is accompanied by a mediocre singer.
But that really isn’t a problem. Aquabats’ downfall is in the members’ complete lack of seriousness. While a band can be pretty much all fun and games, a point comes when it needs to recognize a little bit of reality. This band takes nothing, not even its music, seriously. Even a new listener can see that. But, hey, it’s fun for a little while.