This album sounds nothing like any previous The Aquabats! release, and yet seems to encompass them all at once.
The drums are the best drums I have ever heard on a The Aquabats! album. The rhythms are so weird but poppy. It's fantastic. The drum production is amazing. The album has a really good balance of fast songs vs slow songs. The production of this album is I think what's going to confuse some people. They mixed, in most of the songs the guitar quieter than anything else, which totally makes sense for this record, but is the exact opposite of their approach on the album previous to this, CHARGE!! which was nonstop fast songs, with only out ska song. This album has a lot more ska songs. No horns, but that should be expected at this point. They haven't used horns in a decade! However, the best part of this record is the lyrics! This album takes their tongue in cheek approach CHARGE!! (which although is a very silly record, is mostly viewed as a darker toned album due to the production) and sprinkles it heavily (smothers it) in their silly quirky style from The Floating Eye of Death. The album's sound sounds like if The Fury of The Aquabats!'s bass lines and CHARGE!!'s synths had a baby, and that baby had been raised by The Floating Eye of Death's guitar and vocal work. The drums completely stand out on this record as compasses so many different styles and so many unique sequencing ideas. Although all the instrumentation is really really great and produced just as it should be!
1. The Shark Fighter!
Great opener, and even greater second single. There's great imagery in the lyrics! It's a funny, fast, awesome song that is equal parts The Aquabats!, Devo, and Sparks. This song draws most of it's influence from CHARGE!! and sounds like a mix of Fashion Zombies! and Tiger Rider vs The Time Sprinkler!
This song is my favorite on the album. I was expecting this song to be one of my least favorites from people's descriptions, but this one blew me away so much! It's a fast simple reggae anthem about hanging out with your Big Friends Forever! (BFF) The song encourages acceptance of people that may look a little different than you, and talks about all the fun things you could do with these big friends. The lyrics are so great, and cute, and singalongable. The song sounds to me like the closest The Aquabats! can come to "college rock" it has a very Vampire Weekend/MGMT vibe about it with it's child backup singers and Reggae-rock chorus. That mixed with Yo! Gabba Gabba!.
3. The Legend is True!
This song sounds the most like CHARGE!! on the record musically, but the most like Myths & Legends vocally. It's a completely crazy song, that's so catchy you'll be singing it in your head forever. It starts out as a straight synthpop song, then transitions into something you'd have expected to hear on The Fury, with a really slick surf bassline. Then it just explodes with sick guitar shredding action! Bones proves although this isn't a guitar-heavy album, he's still a heavy guitarist. Despite being the lightest Aquabat!
4. Radio Down! (Featuring Biz Markie)
This was the album's first single and was released as the title track to a short EP on November 9th, the originally announced release date of Hi-Five Soup before Fearless signed them. It's a really strong single as it has everything this album offers in some way on this song. A groovy awesome bassline, really awesome drums, simple synth and guitar riffs, with silly silly lyrics by both MC Bat Commander and a special guest appearance by hip hop legend Biz Markie! The verses are great, and super silly, yet about real concerns from the band themselves about their career, and Biz's guest verse is beyond compare and should certainly get you hyped up! The songs carefree message of dancing and having a good time feels totally appropriate as the banner of this record.
5. Poppin' a Wheelie!
This song already appears to be the sleeper hit from this record. The Nerd Alert!. A really fast catchy song, which is just overshadowed by other, catchier songs. This one is a fast one, that has the guitar work fading in and out of using The Fury's surf chords, and CHARGE!!'s rock chords. Sounds awesome! The nintendo-like synth in the verses is so adorable. This song will definitely put a smile on your face.
6. Hey Homies!
This is the strangest song on this album by far. If you can get past the autotune at the end of B.F.F.! this is the weirdest song. However, it totally makes sense for this album. It's borrowing from Myths pretty heavily in it's style, just because it's not The Aquabats! normal music at all, but it's totally appropriate. The best moments on this album almost all sound like rap songs, and this song attempts to be completely just a rap song, about HUGS. Although this song is certainly corny and cheesy and initially feels out of left field, the lyrics and message of the song, completely surpass this and I dare you not to want to try out all the different hugs listed towards the end of this song.
7. In My Dreams!
In My Dreams! is the slowest song on Hi-Five Soup! However it's also one of the catchiest. The lyrics are super singable. This song is a full on ska song. So for some this may be a big deal. The song really reminds me of "My Skateboard!" or "The Story of Nothing!" from The Fury of The Aquabats! which is widely a good thing, as those songs were great. The only thing I feel like this song is missing is a pick up, as it stays the same tempo throughout which is my only qualm with this overall great song!
8. Just Can't Lose!
Here is where things take the heck off. This I think will be the most positively received song on the album. It has elements of styles from all of their records, but I feel like overall it feels like a The Floating Eye of Death song. It's like if Anti-Matter! and Look At Me I'm a Winner! merged to make voltron. It's feel good, it's fun, and it will make you pound for fist and sing a long.
9. All My Money!
One of the funniest and rockin'est songs on the album. This song sounds like Devo. This song is great. Although it's one of the faster song songs on the album, the hook is kind of dreamy, so it may come off as a slower song. The hook, and all the verses are all filled with lyrical gold.
10.Pink Pants! (Featuring Strong Bad)
Oddly, the punkest song on the album in my opinion. It's a song about people who think they care about a lot, but really they only care about themselves, and it's delivered in the funniest way. This song is great! Totally want to sing a long to this all day.
11.Food Fight on the Moon!
The funniest song on the album. Super catchy chorus, has my favorite verses on the album as far as cleverness. It sounds kind of glam-rockish and even makes reference to David Bowie "I think I know why Bowie and Major Tom went to space, to get their food fight on" is one of my favorite jokes on the record.
12.Luck Dragon Lady!
Never Ending Story love ballad mixed with raps about dragons. One of the best The Aquabats! album closers ever! So epic, but so silly. This song ROCKS!
In conclusion: BUY DIS!!!!