Five Iron Frenzy - Electric Boogaloo (Cover Artwork)

Five Iron Frenzy

Electric Boogaloo (2001)

5 Minute Walk

There is almost nothing about Five Iron Frenzy on this entire site.

Although I can hear the clever jokes coming already, I feel that this is a problem that needs to be rectified. FIF has played infectious ska-punk for several years now, without mainstream fanfare or ridiculous record sales. Sure, they are a Christian band (the horror!), and sometimes their lyrics tend to lean towards "very religious", but over the past several years, their bouncy music and wacky live shows have made them one of my favorite bands of all time.

After the ska craze faded away, many bands ditched their horn players or formed emo bands. Five Iron's latest studio release, Electric Boogaloo, proved that brass still has a place in punk music, without becoming a gimmick or a pain in the ass. From start to finish, this is one solid album, containing the same dual guitar work, fast paced drums, and memorable vocal harmonies that we've come to expect from this band. Songs like "Plan B" and "Blue Mix" allow the 3-part horn section to add something valuable to the song without becoming overdone or annoying. "Car" and "Eulogy" showoff the band's songwriting skills, both musically and lyrically, while "Pre-Ex Girlfriend" and "You Can't Handle This" never fail to make me laugh. The disc's strongest song has to be "Farsighted", with such great brass harmony that you'll wish it were 1996 again.

Granted, this isn't a perfect cd. The latte-flavored "Vultures" and metal-wannabe "The Day We Killed" are songs that are usually skipped over, but you still can't help but appreciate listening to once and a while (especially after hearing all of the "metal" songs on FIF's newest "release", Cheeses of Nazareth).

Overall, "Electric Boogaloo" comes off as one of the better Five Iron albums, with a harder sound and more polished production job. The ska is still there, and there is a positive evolution from the last album to this one. Sadly, Five Iron Frenzy recently announced that they would be breaking up at the end of the year. With plenty of tour dates and a new studio album on the way, there is still time to experience ska at its best. I wish only the best to the band members, who put out some of the finest ska that ever was, and who were genuinely nice people, and above all, true professionals. They will be missed. But not by anyone on this site, apparantly.

Now if only I had the courage to listen to the new Brave Saint Saturn songs....