The Aquabats

 

A decade ago, wacky ska preceded bling-bling rap as a crassly decadent musical movement. With choreographed horn sections inflating their ranks like air-filled cheeks, groups in this subgenre traveled in tour caravans. The most successful of these acts, the Clueless-canonized Mighty Mighty Bosstones, even carried a designated dancer on its roster, paralleling the equally superfluous hip-hop hype man. But brass is a luxury that metal-ska bands can no longer afford. Downsized players don dingy suits and hold signs reading “Will blow for food,” “Honk if you’re horn-y” or “TromBoner for hire.” Madcap to the end, bless their souls. Once an octet, the Aquabats have slimmed to a four-piece and ditched ska for zippy synthesizers and sci-fi guitar leads. However, even without tooting trumpets, this group could outgoof Gallagher. All of the song titles on its recent Charge!! end with exclamation points, much like lines of dialogue in a Mad movie parody. Live, the masked Aquabats wear wet suits and toss party favors to their fans. Even in tight-budgeted times, zaniness dies hard.

Categories: Music