"Why Do They Rock So Hard?" is the third full-length release by the ska-punk band Reel Big Fish, released in 1998.
This, one of their finest records, opens with "Somebody Hates Me" which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Fast distorted guitars, clean, up-beat guitars, catchy horn lines and catchy lyrics.
The album also includes notable favorites "The Set Up (You Need This)", "I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend" and "Take On Me" a great rendition of the infamous Ah-Ha song. The brilliant horn lines and ska feel to the song make it one of the best on the album.
There is also a cover of The Specials classic "Monkey Man", giving a nod to RBF's 2-Tone influence. Overall the album is a collection of catchy, well polished songs which maintains RBF's style of dark themed songs with an up-beat sound.
A must-have record for any fan of ska or punk or just an excuse to skank to a great band!
I have been a fan of Reel Big Fish for absolutely YAGES now and i love every single song they have EVER done but 'Why Do They Rock So Hard?' has to be their best album yet! Reel Big Fish were one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the commercial successes of more well known bands like No Doubt and Sublime and theyre amazing! The first album i bought of theirs was 'Everything Sucks' which was first released in 1995 and a couple of these songs feature also in 'Why do they rock so hard'. Their music is the kind of stuff that you just have to smile to when you listen to but i have to tell you how much AMAZINGLY better they are live!!! I saw them live for the first time this year at Reading festival on the concrete jungle stage and they have to be one of the best bands i have gone to see live. Im definitely going to see them when they next come to London as should every other ska fan!!! The atmosphere and feeling when youre skanking around to their misuc is above anything else ive ever experienced and the energy is overpowering! TRACKS FEATURED ON THIS ALBUM - 1. Somebody Hates Me 2. Take On Me (cover of Aha's 80's smash!) 3. Brand New Song 4. She's Famous Now 5. You Dont Know 6. The Set-Up (You Need This) 7. Thankyou For Not Moshing 8. I'm Cool 9. I Want Your Girlfriend 10. Everything Is Cool 11. Song #3 12. Scotts A Dork 13. Big Star 14. The Kids Dont Like It 15. Down In Flames 16. We Care 17. Victory Over Peter Bones A fantastic album overall!! Each and every one of the 17 tracks on this album are a musical wonder - each pulling a smile onto my face and making me want to jump around in a mad frenzy!! One of the greatest attractions to Reel Big Fish has to be their comical stage antics and their bouncy happy rhythms that scream insanity!! i love
it!! The songs are so catchy and will have you singing in the shower week after week much to your parents distaste!! Even my brother who is a committed hard house and trance fan has managed to be persuaded by some of the tracks on this fantastic album and that really is an achievement seeing as my brother is always right!! hmmm....lol! On this album you see just how much Reel Big Fish care about the safety of the fans with their aptly titled 'Thankyou For Not Moshing' and this just attracts you even more to this amazing band because you know that theyre just all fun and giggles!! This album has to be the best thing to skank around with your friends to -i know i get hours of fun and enjoyment from it! You can never get bored with ska music as your friend!!! Every avid punk/ska fan HAS to own a copy of this album to really know what ska is all about!! or you could just get one of their other albums...either way you have to let Reel Big Fish be your entertainment!!
Yep that?s right folks I have gone fishing! And I am going to tell you about the Reel Big Fish that I caught! Okay, silliness over now (well not quite? yet!) this opinion is going to be about the last album that Reel Big Fish released! If you haven?t guessed by now, or haven?t heard of them, Reel Big Fish are a band! (of the ska-punk style I believe the correct term?) The album I am going to write this opinion about is titled ?Why Do They Rock So Hard??. Any way to start things off I will tell you a little about Reel Big Fish, I hope you find this useful and or interesting!?! ** A Little About Reel Big Fish ** Reel Big Fish started out as a normal rock band, which consisted of the members Aaron Barrett, Andrew Gonzales and Matt Wong. After playing about for a while with this line-up they soon discovered ska and soon the rest of the band, Grant Barry, Scott Klopfenstein, Dan Regan and Tavis Werts joined as the horns section. With this new line-up and new sound they began to become a huge success in America and in Europe (even though in Europe it is very hard still to buy their records at a decent price!). ** Websites ** www.reel-big-fish.com - This is a brilliant website for anyone, even if you don't like Reel Big Fish, well kind of any way. This website contains a lot of information about the band such as a history, records they have released, tour dates, press they have had, downloads (audio and photo) plus games. The games are the best section, you can play hang man (and hang one of the band, which is most likely as it is very hard!), Super Fish Bros (much like Super Mario Bros), plus take the Reel Big Fish Purity Test and still have time for Star Base and Warp-O-Matic! A very good website must be checked out! www.reel-big-fish-market.co.uk - This is the website from which you can order all of your Reel Big Fish goodies in the UK. You can purchase cool t-shirts, erm? well that is about it, but if you want a Reel Bi
g Fish t-shirt this is the place to go! www.mojorecords.com - This is the website of the Record Company that Reel Big Fish are signed to, erm? not much that I can say about this. It has some information about the band and what Reel Big Fish are doing at the moment. ** The Band ** Aaron Barrett ? vocals, guitar, synthesizer. Grant Barry ? trombone. Andrew Gonzales ? drums. Scott Klopfenstein ? trumpet, vocals, keyboards. Dan Regan ? trombone, screams. Tavis Werts ? trumpet flugal horn. Matt Wong ? bass, vocals. ** Why Do They Rock So Hard? ** The following people helped make this record possible in some way or another. These names don?t mean much to me, but as they played a part in the making of this record it seemed a good idea (?) to include their names! Here we go? John Avila ? Producer (along with Reel Big Fish). Tim Palmer, John Avila, Joe Zook, Donnel Cameron ? Mixed various tracks! Additional musical input by? Coolie Ranx of Pilfer ? vocals (tracks 6 & 10). Brandon Werts ? percussion (tracks 5, 9, 16). Sam Avila ? B-3 organ (tracks 1, 12, 16). True: 129 ? scratches (10, 13). The Gang ? gang vocals! Okay enough about who made the album, what about the music, and lets face it? that is what this is all about (sorry got side tracked!). So here are the tracks that make up ?Why Do They Rock So Hard??? 1 Somebody Hates Me 2 Brand New Song 3 She?s Famous Now 4 You Don?t Know 5 The Set Up (You Need This) 6 Thank You For Not Moshing 7 I?m Cool 8 I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too 9 Everything Is Cool 10 Song #3 11 Scott?s A Dork 12 Big Star 13 The Kids Don?t Like It 14 Down In Flames 15 We Care 16 Victory Over Peter Bones (The Legend Of Alan Guile Versus Peter Bones) Okay you now have the information about the tracks on the album, but what are they a
bout and what do they sound like? Well I would like to know, at least vaguely what the album is about. So here I go? * Some Body Hates Me * If there is one thing that I will say about the songs that Reel Big Fish write is that you shouldn?t take then seriously, most of them are piss takes are just plain stupid? yeah! This can be said about this song, it is about someone who has just made an enemy! They don?t know who it is or why they don?t like them but they don?t, oh well shit happens! Here are some of the lyrics so you can get the gist of the song? ??did you misunderstand something that I did or was there one of my jokes that you didn?t get?? * She?s Famous Now * Another example of some of the fine lyrics that are written by Reel Big Fish, this song is about this guy who?s girlfriend has become famous and how over time he lost out as she was famous. Now he just has to say, yeah I went out with her. Here are some of the lyrics so you can get the gist of the song? ??I?ve got the measles and she got the mumps I?m sick of waiting by the door in case she come home?? ??she used to be my girl but now she?s famous?? * Thank You For Not Moshing * Well I have learnt something writing this opinion, I have found out that the word ?moshing? isn?t in the Microsoft Word 97 dictionary (so imagine if you can a nice red squiggly line underneath the word!). Any way back to the song? this song is all about the fans that have come to see Reel Big Fish. This again is a bit of a piss take song as in fact this song is all about moshing! What moshing is for a brief outline is lots of people jumping and bumping about in a big croud, sometimes in a circle! Here are some of the lyrics so you can get the gist of the song? ??got my wife beater on, steel toe doc martens on my feet yea I run around in a little circle, I?m wonderin? who to beat?? * I?m Cool * To make a change from the majority of t
he album this a nice mellow song. This I feel is a song about the band as a whole and their attitude towards what they do. This song actually has a serious point to make! No, I?m not joking! It reminds the listener that they are just as important as anyone else; it doesn?t matter if you are not famous. * I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too * Yeah, back to the song with stupid lyrics and a funny theme. Basically this song is about this guy and he wants his friends girlfriend to be his, but then you probably got all that information by reading the title to the track! Oh well, I just thought that this point might need reinforcing! Here are some of the lyrics so you can get the gist of the song? ?there?s a little girl I know you might know her too, she looks so good she looks so cute standin? next to you?? ??I don?t know what to do maybe I could kill you?? * The Kids Don?t Like It * This is one of the best songs on the album and great to sing along to when you go and see Reel Big Fish live, who I have to say are one of the best live acts that I have seen. This song takes the piss out of the earlier success that they had before they moved their musical stylings towards that of ska-punk. They say they tried something and no one liked it, so they went back to what they knew people would like. Here are some of the lyrics so you can get the gist of the song? ??it may sound real good, but I don?t think were getting through because the kids don?t like it?? ??had a hit famous? No easy come, easy go, should be happy with what I got, should be happy but I?m not?? ** My Thoughts ** This is one of my favourite albums and it spends most of it?s time either in my CD player to very close to it. If you are going to listen to this you must make sure that you don?t take anything that Reel Big Fish sing about too seriously, because they are not a very serious bunch of people! All I can say is
if you are tempted to buy this? do! You will regret not doing so!
Reel Big Fish: Why do they rock so hard? in my opinion is an album of pure brilliance. Reel Big Fish manages to combine brass and punk music to make an amazing form of music know as ska. Ska takes some forms of punk music, performed with brass instruments as well as the electric guitar, bass and drums. This somehow manages to make a very catchy tune. One of the good things about ska is that you can take almost any tune and make it sound good, I've known people to take tunes from things like Power Rangers and convert them to ska. If done properly this can sound very amusing but still pretty good. Ska is not 'pop' nor is it 'party' music, basically it's 'moshing' music where you can have a laugh and a good time whilst listening to it. You may think you can only mosh to psychopathic music (if you can call it music) like Slipknot but it's much more fun to catchy songs, like ska. OK, about the album. Errrrrm.................................... it's good................................................ you should get it........................................................ OK, I can't think of much, I've already explained what the music sounds like. I suppose some of the songs are about real problems that many people come across, eg. Somebody hates me, I want your girlfriend to be my girlfriend etc. Actually the songs seem to be about the band, and the band talking to you. One of them's about moshing and there's one about Reel Big Fish and if they ever become famous (even though they probably already were when they write that song), then there?s a really cool one about some rich guy who nobody likes but he thinks he's so cool. There's nothing wrong with this album because it's just so good, except there's a couple of minutes at the end of the CD where they may have been able to squeeze in another track!
When I first heard this album, I wasn't entirely sure what to think. The initial impression it made on me was none too promising. It appeared to be the usual ska-punk-pop, a Less Than Jake meets Blink 182 type thing. Not really my sort of thing, but nothing I was going to immediately regard as not worth the effort of listening to. So, I continued through the album, and finally brought myself to repeat the experience. OK. Maybe thats a bit of an exaggeration. It wasn't that bad. Most of the tracks on this album are very catchy, very pop-ish. The sort songs with choruses you'll find yourself singing all day. The first single to be released from the album (track 4), titled 'The Set up (You Need This)', fitted this description perfectly. It is by no means a poorly written or recorded song, but I found it straying too far to the commercial side of things for my liking. If you enjoy lighter, happier, easy-to-listen-to ska influenced bands, then I'm sure you'd like this very much. Unlike a large number of punk-ska bands, Reel Big Fish rarely abandon their brass section in favour of a punk song. This works to their advantage - they have a very talented brass section, which add more depth and harmony to all tracks on this album. Again, the horns add to the catchy pop-ness of the album, but it is done very well. The lyrics from this album are widely spread. Certain songs on this album are used to raise issues that are widely debated and discussed ; the concept of 'selling out' (abandoning 'punk values' in order to gain chart success), and the act of moshing. These issues are raised in tracks 15 and 6. I have a mixed opinion of this band. I can't say that I particuly enjoyed this album. However, I can explain this by the fact that I don't really like this type of music. Theres too much commercial ska-pop in here for my liking. But, they do what they do very well. They
are a good band, with some very good songs, and a good place to start if you are just beginning to get into ska-punk. If you have heard and enjoyed this album, I would reccomend you tried:- Edna's Goldfish Mighty Mighty Bosstones The Toasters
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Somebody Hates Me
2 Brand New Song
3 She's Famous Now
4 You Don't Know
5 Set Up (You Need This)
6 Thank You for Not Moshing
7 I'm Cool
8 I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too
9 Everything Is Cool
10 Sleep All Day
11 Scott's a Dork
12 Big Star
13 Kids Don't Like It
14 Down in Flames
15 We Care
16 Victory Over Peter Bones (The Legend of Alan Guile Verses Peter Bones)