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The Aquabats: Yo, Check Out This RideYo, Check Out This Ride (2004)
Ska and Reggae
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Aside from their phenomenal double disc DVD it’s been nearly four years since the Aquabats laid a few tracks down on a compact disc for distribution. Finally the superhero squad opted to huddle in their ‘Bat Cave to rip out a few quirky songs. The new material is only available for order online or at shows, so while they’re on their summer tour I suggest you grab a few friends and head out to catch the world’s most fantastic live band.
Out of two new songs and three covers, here’s what we have…
Kicking off the self-released EP is the title track “Yo, Check Out This Ride,” an ode to MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” as MC Bat Commander spills the flows about his 1991 Chevrolet Celica that’s lowered in the back, “I dropped some deuce / with some juice / on the front of my CAT / and I aint braggin’ / my back end’s draggin’.” Even though the Commander is riding in style the Aquabat-Mobile serves all car enthusiasts. An old western covered wagon complete with spinner rims, a hot tub, hydraulics, Louis Vuitton leather bonnet, and an X-Box to go with the HDTV. In true Aquabat’s fashion this song is conveyed in the foolish zany style that they’re renowned for.
“Todd-1 In Space Mountain Land!” is a quick keyboard lead ditty, with drums and electronic beats a crazy tale of being trapped in a sci-fi land (or it’s just about some guy’s jacket) is heard. The first cover song is “Zero Hour” which was originally performed by the classic British new-wave rockers The Plimsouls. Maintaining their steady new-wave fetish the band recreates “Zero Hour.” The Aquabats do a fine job updating this tune to pop precision, capturing the popular chorus and giving the listener something to shake their booty to. Instead of contributing their ambiance to the Kink’s “Big Sky’ it’s performed with the same soft rock appeal that made the original a success.
What makes a band like the Aquabats stand out so much is the constant dedication of their music to “the kids,” by covering “Throw Away The Trash” by the Kids Of Widney High they truly display that act of devotion. If you’re not familiar with the Kids Of Widney High they are a group of special ed children from a Los Angeles High School of the same name who create their own music for the people to enjoy. In recreating this one it stirs up a call to chant a long with kids “I wanna feel proud about my clean school / If someone throws trash "I pity the fool!!"
There’s one word that should appear in every Aquabats review, fun. There’s no need for me to pull out my thesaurus and find a few words to replace it and boast my ego. Musically this isn’t the greatest work they’ve ever prepared, sadly there’s not a trace of Ska to be found on “Yo, Check Out This Ride!” as heartbreaking as that is it’s still a quality EP worthy of purchase. Because they make music to save the day and on this stormy afternoon in Pittsburgh they’ve done just that for me.
*note: According to the official track listing, number two should be “Zero Hour!” however that’s number three on my CD and “Todd-1 In Space Mountain Land!” is second.
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