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REEL BIG FISH - Life Sucks, Let's Dance ALBUM REVIEW

bad times don't last

Aaron Barrett - Vox/Guitar

Billy Kottage - Trombone

John Christmas - Trumpet

Ed Smokey Beach - Drums

Derek Gibbs - Bass

Matt Appleton - Sax

a crash republic boston

During the last cross-country Vans Warped Tour in the summer of 2018, I had sat down and talked with Billy & Johnny about life, family, the road and to my surprise a new Reel Big Fish record that at the time the guys had just finished up tracking in the studio.

One does not simply disembark into the realm of the punk rock world without stepping on a few branches here and there. There are dozens upon dozens of sub-genres these days and out on one of those branches painted in checkerboards is ska music.

I discovered Reel Big Fish back in high school but didn't really get into them until around the time my friends were headed to college. RBF was one of the first bands that were blasted at every house party I went to, songs like Sell Out and Beer were of course classics along with their cover of Take On Me by AhHa.

Life Sucks, Let's Dance marks the legendary ska band's first studio album in nearly 6 years and is the band's eighth studio LP. It is absolutely all of the hype its been building up to.

Every song has their own quirk and theme that makes them all to their own. Tunes like their first single "You Can't Have All of Me", "Pissed Off" and opening and title track have these happy, uplifting, organs, horns and chords overtop contrasting lyrics about life sucking, being pissed, and paying bills.



The guys have a total punk rock song called "Tongue Tied & Tipsy Too" that has this awesome hardcore punk beat in it. It's a little unexpected and is a great pallet cleanser for the rest of the album with a cool little solo in it. "I'd Rather Get It Wrong and Bob Marley's Toe have this reggae meets punk/ska feel."

"G.D. Beautiful Day" reminds me of a Billy Joel song if Billy Joel tried to write a Reel Big Fish song. Tunes like their latest single "Ska Show" and "Another Beer Song" are like throwback anthems to Reel Big Fish's history and nods to their past while looking forward to the future.


Make sure to pick up "Life Sucks, Let's Dance" out everywhere Dec. 21st. You can also check out Reel Big Fish on the road this January on their Winter 2019 "Life Sucks, Let's Dance Tour" featuring special guests MEST and Bikini Trill.

life sucks reel big fish

The 'Life Sucks...Let's Dance' Tour (with MEST, Bikini Trill)

1.11 Big Bear Lake, CA The Cave

1.12 Fresno, CA Strummer's

1.13 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades

1.15 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory

1.16 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom

1.18 Jackson Hole, WY Pink Garter Theatre

1.19 Billings, MT The Pub Station

1.20 Missoula, MT The Wilma

1.22 Fargo, ND Sanctuary Events Center

1.23 Des Moines, IA Wooly's

1.25 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theatre

1.26 Columbia, MO The Blue Note

1.27 Tulsa, OK Cain's Ballroom

1.29 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre

1.30 Dallas, TX House of Blues

1.31 Lubbock, TX Jake's Backroom

2.1 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater

2.2 Tucson, AZ The Rock


You can check out more of REEL BIG FISH at ANY of the links below:



CHECK OUT REEL BIG FISH and the rest of the band's I've featured here:

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The Pop-Punk Dad features bands from all around the globe. Email me awesome bands at:


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