Punknews.org
Reel Big Fish - Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free (Cover Artwork)

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish: Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for FreeMonkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free (2007)
Rock Ridge Music

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Orange County's Reel Big Fish are currently in their fifteenth year as a band, cementing them as veterans in the ska-punk genre. Despite featuring only two original members, the band has not changed much in the past decade since their breakout hit "Sell Out." Their sixth studio album Monkey's for No.
iTunes StoreAmazon


Orange County's Reel Big Fish are currently in their fifteenth year as a band, cementing them as veterans in the ska-punk genre. Despite featuring only two original members, the band has not changed much in the past decade since their breakout hit "Sell Out." Their sixth studio album Monkey's for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free features a plethora of buoyant songs just in time for the peak of summer, an obligatory cover song, and a few re-workings of older songs. The first ten tracks of the record, "The Monkeys," are all new songs, while tracks 11-17, "The Chimps," are re-recordings. Thus, the album feel is loose, but it still maintains the qualities you expect from RBF.

In typical Reel Big Fish fashion, the record opens with a crunching guitar riff, standard distorted horns, and the charming quirk of frontman Aaron Barret's vocals on "Party Down." The majority of the album follows this mold musically; the band continues to heavily embrace the ska portion of their sound, one that saw its resurgence on their previous studio effort, We're Not Happy ??Til You're Not Happy. Album standouts include the danceable "Live Your Dream" and "The New Version of You" for its simple catchy chorus. With "Everybody's Drunk," the band have written a boastful ballad that not only features a Twisted Sister parody breakdown, but one that competes with their party anthem "Beer." Most of the songs on Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free are expressively upbeat in nature, which is a nice change of pace. There are some duds, though; "Another F.U. Song" contains lyrical content that should be embarrassing for a man in his thirties to sing. "My Imaginary Friend" is another clunker, as it glides by and despite a subtle piano is hardly memorable; similar comments can be applied to "Slow Down." It wouldn't be a RBF record without a cover song, and a faithful rendition of Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise" is an excellent addition to their extensive database of unoriginal material.

The second portion of the release opens with "Way Back," a dull bonus track from We're Not Happy ??Til You're Not Happy. Following are four re-recorded songs from RBF's debut album, Everything Sucks. Although said album was re-released in 2000, it's nice to hear them with a delightful sound quality. "Hate You" maintains the charisma of the original and despite its juvenile nature is still a pleasurable song. The rapid "Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat" with its fist-pumping chorus is another enjoyable re-recording. Closing the record are two re-recordings of demos: "'Til I Hit the Ground" and "Cannibal."

Despite Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free's initial intention of being a B-sides collection, it turns out to be a solid record that fits perfectly in the band's discography. Despite a portion of the songs being over a decade old the album flows well and maintains the entertaining/quirky Reel Big Fish personality.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitWeezer - PinkertonThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandWeezer - WeezerThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Cobra Skulls - American RubiconBig D and the Kids Table - Strictly Rude

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
casey_cole (March 1, 2008)

The low points of this album, unfortunately, come just after the beginning. This means that after the initial buzz, the album just dies until just after half way through, making it hard to listen all the way through without stabbing out your eyes.

Party Down and Another F.U. Song are upbeat catchy pieces of fun. Live Your Dream through to Will the Revolution Come? are unimaginative, bland and plain painful at times.
The rest of the album is solid, dependable Fish and the re-recordings of some older songs make it worthwhile.

Another Day in Paradise, Another F.U. Song and the hilarious Everybody's Drunk are the high points.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

My Imaginary Friend is one of the deepest and most serious songs Reel Big Fish has. If you read the lyrics you can tell that it is about there being no god, and god was his imaginary friend.

Anonymous (July 28, 2007)

I really like this album. Fans have wanted them to go back to their old style for ages. Cheer Up was an enjoyable record by the way, people seem to dismiss it just because it wasn't ska. And just because ska is not as popular as it was in 97 doesn't mean ska is dead. Punk is dead though, that's for sure.

Anyway, for the reviewer, there were 4 original members at the time of this record, and the bassist left since then, so now there are three left.

punk_rawk_show (July 27, 2007)

"RBF seems too dorky for you, yet you like Guttermouth? Aren't they like, the epotome of dorky sarcastic slapstick shitty NoFx wanna be sloppy punk?"

Hmm i guess your'e correct, except for some reason i love funny/joke skate punk like Guttermouth, but i just cant get into the hole jokey reel big fish stuff

klonny (July 27, 2007)

Another FU song and My Imaginary Friend are meant to be jokes, you can't dissect the songs and talk about how bad the lyric writing was.

score is for review.

Anonymous (July 27, 2007)

Reel Big Fags

Anonymous (July 27, 2007)

I really like Reel Big Fish. They're live album is my favorite live album, second only to "Live at the Roxy".

Anonymous (July 27, 2007)

punknews.org,

i love the shit out of you guys, but please get your shit together on the reviews. you used to always update them the night before and it helps me greatly for buying a new record.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

"despite its juvenile nature" "lyrical content that should be embarrassing for a man in his thirties to sing"

it's called having fun. another fu song is making fun of that they were known as just a band that had a bunch of fuck you songs (like fuck yourself or big fucking star or you don't know). imaginary friend is one of the best tracks...rbf doing a song about the flying spaghetti monster is always great.

"fuck this song but mostly fuck you."

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

Suicide Machines are a deep band?

The Vans song disagrees.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

who listens to rbf and expects something 'good' or 'deep' or 'worthwhile'. you know if i want to listen to ska yeah i'd rather listen to suicide machines etc etc etc but most of my friends don't; they want the 'core' dropped and i think that everyone can enjoy getting wasted to this band and i don't think they pretend to do anything more or less.

i'm sure 6-7 is the perfect score for this.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

My Imaginary Friend is a good song.

And deep compared to other songs they've written (even on this record).

RefusedRok855Fin (July 25, 2007)

Really big love for Fish! Please see soon very energetic and good time for all whether there for core or for more poppy!

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

Why?

SumWon (July 25, 2007)

I agree completely about the awesomeness of the album title. Score is for that.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

It's probably cos i'm retarded but i think the record title is HILARIOUS.
-Janelle

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

RBF seems too dorky for you, yet you like Guttermouth? Aren't they like, the epotome of dorky sarcastic slapstick shitty NoFx wanna be sloppy punk?

Paul

grealy (July 25, 2007)

this album is kinda good but reeeeaaaallllly bad at the same time. reel big fish are like the friend who you kinda like, but kinda feel sorry for as well, so you hang with them not to hurt their feelings. in the end you have a pretty decent time hanging with them, but then you go hang out with your good friends and you think to yourself "why was i hanging with reel big fish when i could have been hanging with these dudes? i could have even gone out and made some new friends! next time i see reel big fish i'm gonna pay the shit out of them!"
next time you see them though you're kinda drunk, and they yell out "WAZZUUUUP!!!" at you and hand you a beer and you forget and have a fun time with them.

reel big fish: best enjoyed when not thinking.

punk_rawk_show (July 25, 2007)

Just downloaded the album then. I hope its good, ive never really got into RBF. They seemed to dorky for me, espcially when i saw them with Guttermouth. Hopefully this album changes my views

feeeding5000 (July 24, 2007)

"Goooooooooooffffffffyyyyy ska! (sucks)"

When I read this, I imagined it sounding like "Coooooookieeee Crisp!" from the Cookie Crisp commercials. Just a thought.

cooltobeyou (July 24, 2007)

This CD is pretty bland and overly lengthy. There are about 6-7 OK songs on the album and the rest is very hard to listen to.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

"Somebody PLEASE tell me, is it worth me buying this considering:

1) I loved Turn the Radio Off and Why Do they Rock so Hard?
2) I didn't care for Cheer Up
3) I didn't buy the last one

Gimme some insight"

Much better than the last two studio efforts. Not as good as Sell Out and WDTRSH but definitely more like those albums . If you don't have the double live album pick it up. It's my second favorite live album next to Face to Face "Live"

CoD (July 24, 2007)

Kirby doesn't seem to understand that Another F.U. Song is tongu-in-cheek.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Rawls with Balls (lol, wtf?)

1. This isn't as good as "turn the radio off" or "rock so hard"
2. Cheer up was good but lacked ska
3. "were not happy til you're not happy" was totally worth getting, it's better than Cheer up and probably better than this album as well
4. this one is good but lacks a good flow. if you consider yourself a RBF fan, then get it. you won't be disspointed. if you don't like RBF, you probably won't like this. I can say that it contains a lot more ska than cheerup did though.

Paul

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Can someone send me an mp3 of their cover of Boss DJ?

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

If you liked RADIO OFF AND ROCK SO HARD, you'll probably dig this record.

Rawls_with_Balls (July 24, 2007)

Somebody PLEASE tell me, is it worth me buying this considering:

1) I loved Turn the Radio Off and Why Do they Rock so Hard?
2) I didn't care for Cheer Up
3) I didn't buy the last one

Gimme some insight

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

ska was never alive.

punkgato (July 24, 2007)

I don't think I said Voodoo were from the OC...just the people who still find interest in these bands and purchase their albums...but thanx for the geography lesson!

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

"It's amazing that the bad musical taste of Orange County can keep bands like these guys, the Aquabats, and Voodoo Glow Skulls alive"

Voodoo Glow Skulls = Riverside county

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

hahahahahahahahahahaha this shit sucks hahahahahahahaha ska is dead hahahahahahahaha

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

wow, perfect review and thank you for letting me know where the "chimps" originally came from.

this is probably my least favorite RBF record, although it does boast one of the best songs they've ever written in "slow down" a perfect reggae summer ballad.

The production is a huge improvement over the muddy sounding "we're not happy" album, although I enjoyed "were not happy" more than this one overall. It just seemed to flow better.

Overall it is far from a disspointment, but I think it's safe to say they'll never top "turn the radio off" which still seems to be the fan favorite, or "why do they rock so hard", my personal favorite RBF album. Still fantastic live, spot on performance wise, variety in their sets, semi-funny stage banter and solid energy for a band 10 years past their commerical peak.

Love me some 3rd wave bitches. glad to see all these bands that gave up ska from 2000-2002 coming back around (the new Mad Caddies, RBF, etc., hopefully LTJ learns from this)

Paul

i-type-poorly (July 24, 2007)

This album is not good. It tries to get by on "hey, we're doing peppy ska riffs again" and nothing more. The only good songs are the Everything Sucks remakes. The worst songs are "Slow down" and "way back". What the hell were they thinking? Those songs sound nothing like RBF. Where's the "I hate myself and i hate you too" songs? Someone has to run over Aaron's dog for the greater good, so that he'll start writing angry songs again. Without that, they're just another stupid mid-nineties party/goofball band for 16 year olds.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Goooooooooooffffffffyyyyy ska! (sucks)

danperrone (July 24, 2007)

this is really horrible. it's all over the place and lacks any sort of focus, and it tries way too hard to be funny when it is clearly not.

punkgato (July 24, 2007)

It's amazing that the bad musical taste of Orange County can keep bands like these guys, the Aquabats, and Voodoo Glow Skulls alive...just think of the brats from Real Housewives of Orange County jamming out to this one on their way to vote for Mit Romney!!!

skaboom (July 24, 2007)

It's pretty good. I've never been a huge fan of RBF on record, but in a live setting, even the more average songs sound great.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Music aside, I just couldn't own a CD with such bad album art. What were they thinking? It looks like what you'd find on some childrens educatoinal CD-ROM, or some budget compilation on a discount rack at Wal-Mart. C'mon, guys - album art matters! Don't put out shit like this!

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Leaving the major label world has been great for RBF; your move, LTJ.

insinceredave (July 24, 2007)

I was thinking of getting this, but with the shitty weather here in the uk i'm not in the mood for summer music

I'll carry on listening to wood/water for now

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

its a grower. cannibal is awesome, as is slow down and my imaginary friend. the dvd that comes with it is ok, although its only 20 minutes.

Zephir (July 24, 2007)

I was expecting a harsher review of this CD, but I think a 7 is a very fair score. If you still like Reel Big Fish you'll probably like this CD. Party Down and Another Day in Paradise are so catchy. I'm really glad they redid Hate You, Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat? and I'm Her Man because those songs are fun.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

best reel big fish song ever : beer
worst by far : sell out
band that should give it up already : reel big fish

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Wicked album title.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Much better than their last two studio efforts. I give them credit for that.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

There's more out there than just skacore guys. Ugh.

coldwaffles (July 24, 2007)

skaskaskaskaska

someone-yeah (July 24, 2007)

"My Imaginary Friend" is a great song and i'll knife fight anyone who says otherwise

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

New Version of You is one of their best ever.

fattony (July 23, 2007)

I'm bummed they didn't do an official studio recording of "So Long For Rock and Roll." That song's fucking killer. Still, pretty sweet album. Some of the songs aren't quite up to par, but "Another FU Song" is classic RBF.

skapunk810 (July 23, 2007)

solid album...some songs could have been spruced up a bit but overall it's a moderately good pop-ska disk with some mainstream twists

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

Reel Big Fish is proof that this type of ska will never die, even though it should.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

wow, this band is still around? give it up guys.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go