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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Smashmouth

Fush Yu Mang

Review by Gary Hill

While this album is certainly not a progressive rock album, it contains one aspect common to much progressive rock, the melding of varied musical styles into one coherent work. This CD is definitely meant for nothing but fun, but does a really good job of achieving that. The primary influences here are ska and punk, but there are many other genres represented. All in all, a good time, party album. Lyrically this album is basically just lots of humorous, sometimes very irreverent stories. Not really significant enough to go into detail on the track by tracks, but fun nonetheless. The lineup on this album is Steve Harwell, Gregory Camp, Paul DeLisle, Kevin Coleman and "additional cats".

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 

Track by Track Review
Flo
Starting off in a definite punk mode, this one quickly turns in a ska direction, very much in a Madness mode.
Beer Goggles
This one is definitely in the punk vein, perhaps a bit reminiscent of The Stranglers. Beer Goggles also contains some power pop leanings, and some definite `50` styled vocals at times.
Walkin' On The Sun
This is the first single from the album. A very fun song, this one does a wonderful job of capturing a nice `60`s sort of feel. This is a wonderful tune, and by itself is worth the price of admission. Walkin` On the Sun contains a very nice classic sounding organ solo.

Let's Rock
This one starts off in that ska Madnessish mode, but very quickly turns to a more pure punk approach, somewhat similar to The Ramones.
Heave-Ho
This is another straightforward punk tune, with funny lyrics and some more ska leanings.
The Fonz
Yes, it is about THAT Fonz. This is a nice slow pop/punk track with some `50`s influences.
Pet Names
A bit reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies, this one is another definitely from the punk vein. This number does contain some ska influences, and some minor B-52`s vocal leanings at times.
Padrino
This one is just your basic Tejano Ska tune. Seriously, that is the main combination of influences on this one, and amazingly it does work. This is one of the best songs on this album.
Nervous in the Alley
This is another song from that classic ska/punk mode.
Disconnect the Dots
Disconnect the Dots has a nice `70`sish guitar intro leading into a heavily ska based song. This song also contains a rap section, and a nice horn section.
Push
This has a nice, more serious, black metal/punk feel to it, and contains some very nice `60`s rock style backing vocals.

Why Can`t We Be Friends
Why Can`t We Be Friends is the classic War song, and this is a very well done updating of that track. This is another of the standout tracks on the album.
 
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