Five Iron Frenzy has been one of the main three ska bands who have found their own ways to endure through the increasing fall of ska. Their fourth full-length studio album, Five Iron Frenzy2: Electric Boogaloo picks up where their previous album All the Hype That Money Could Buy left off.
Electric Boogaloo kicks off with the fun and sarcastic pop punk (plus horns) "Pre-Ex-Girlfriend," followed by the much more serious, worshipful modern rock "Far, Far Away," already getting the album off to a pretty sweet start. "You Can't Handle This" takes the listener back to the sarcastic, tongue in cheek fun side with this album highlight. It's lyrics tell the story of virtually a self-confident dweeb. Mood change again with "Farsighted," another vertically focused fast-paced pop punk rocker. Lead singer Reese Roper's vocal style hasn't really changed much from their previous 5 recordings, however in "The Day We Killed," Roper tries a more hardcore approach including grittier vocals and growls. Unfortunately, this isn't nearly as successfully utilized as it was in previous songs such as "Fistfuls of Sand" on their Our Newest Album Ever record from 1998.
"Plan B" captures some more of the zany side of FIF, more like their classic tune "Superpowers." "Blue Mixes" is an intriguing track. Roper encourages fans "to watch what you buy/ these bands that you love/ pull the wool over your eyes/ So watch them..." The song levels with the listeners, admitting that there are bands in the Christian music scene who are in it merely for the green and not the ministry.
The album closes with "Eulogy," continuing the band's tradition of ending their albums with a thoughtful, reflective and often worshipful tune. Electric Boogaloo is a grand step for a band reaching for longevity, trying to survive a fading musical style. The band has what it takes to stay in the game, let's just hope they do.- Review date: 12/16/01, written by John DiBiase
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