Photo courtesy of Nitro RecordsTHE AQUABATS CHARGE!
When last we left our heroes, they were mocking nü-metal and celebrating pizza. But change has come to Batworld. Or maybe irony really died in the six years since their last studio album. Or maybe the soft targets they go after in the first few tracks on Charge!(Goths, plastic women) just don't yield a big punch line anymore. Or maybe we've just become old and joyless, preferring to seethe jealously: they've got eternal youth, these guys in rubber suits that grant them the power to rhyme "burrito" with "neat-o." Being even slightly critical of an Aquabats CD makes us feel like codgers: If we can't laugh at this, how long until we become some cranky ogre who thinks Dick Cheney is even half-human? But ah! Halfway through the album comes our saving spark of hilarity: the Rick Springfield-sounding "Look at Me (I'm a Winner)!" It's Tony Robbins by way of Camaro rock, and it had us instantly strutting confidently down the block. Any semblance of reality fades on "Mechanical Ape!" and suddenly we were in an Oingo Boingo-scored comic book where subsequent chapters had us battling in a "Demolition Rickshaw!" derby, slipping down "Waterslides!" and bowing to the "Awesome Forces!" the Aquabats still deploy. They refuse to grow up, the Aquabats, and that's a very good thing.