The Aquabats vs. The Floating Eye of Death
Could the Aquabats be mellowing out? Judging from their new CD, the answer is yes. Their new album is their first release since 1997’s The Fury of the Aquabats , and they have gone through some lineup changes since then. The Floating Eye of Death marks a migration from their trademark fast, peppy, and crazy ska feel (the “aquabeat”), and explores almost a more mature sound.
The songs that stick more closely to the old sound are “The Man With Glooey Hands” (no pun intended), “Giant Robot Bird-Head,” and “Anti-Matter.” They are upbeat and catchy. But even those just don’t stack up to Aqua-classics like “Magic Chicken” and “Super-Rad,” in my opinion. “Lovers of Loving Love” is such an earnestly corny ballad that it endeared itself to me. “Canis Lupus” is a somewhat lackluster tribute to dogs that makes me wince when I think about it.
Most of the other tracks are departures from the group’s usual sound. There are more instruments used than just the horn section and an occasional sample. “Lotto Fever” is a catchy track that starts out with Prince Adam on the drum machine. “Chemical Bomb” and “Hello, Good Night” are two pop-sounding ballads. “The Thing on the Bass Amp” almost delves into a swing sound.
Overall, I think this is a pretty good album. It certainly doesn’t reflect “the wacky wacky world of the Aquabats” as much as previous releases. New fans might enjoy it, but old Aquabats fans may find this album disappointing. As for me, I think I’ll stick with “The Cat With Two Heads” and hope the Aquabats shape up on their next album.
Goldenvoice Recording Company, P.O. Box 838, Huntington Beach, CA 92648-0838