Southern California ska punk mainstays have been criticized for essentially recording the same album again and again. That slam is a little broad, but even if partially true, at least it’s a fun record they keep revisiting.
Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! is the band’s ninth album and first LP in six years, and yup, it does sound like a lot of their other work: plenty of horns; goofy, fun songs; and lots of shouted choruses. But fuck it; it’s still a ridiculously enjoyable 40-or-so minutes.
Songs like the first single, “You Can’t Have All of Me,” “I Should Know By Now,” and “Tongue Tied and Twisted Too” are all vying to become future show staples. There are a couple of filler songs on here that probably should have never left the studio (“Bob Marley’s Toe” is as awful as you think it will be), but overall, the band perfected their blend of addictive, not-too-serious, third wave ska around the mid-90s and keep delivering the kind of music their fans have grown to love.
Reel Big Fish clearly aren’t breaking any new ground with Life Sucks… Let’s Party!, but to be fair, there are many out there that would be disappointed if they did.