Ska/pop with tremendously novel entertainment value
Duet All Night Long is a 6-song EP that is nothing short of genius: take the legendary 90s ska revival band Reel Big Fish, team them up with indie rockers Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer and let them pick six songs they want to cover. What you get is a meeting of the musical minds that is not only novel, but also incredibly fun to listen to.
Let me put your mind at ease, dear reader, before I go any further. Duet All Night Long is not just another compilation of stale cover songs put out to increase sales. Rather, it is a refreshing mixture of remakes that get you dancing in your living room (or other location of choice). You get pop and ska influence, talent and familiarity wrapped into one.
This EP is aptly named, as Reel Big Fish vocalist Aaron Barrett and Zolof vocalist Rachel Minton trade off vocals on each song, creating some really cool male/female vocal harmonies. Beyond this, the songs mainly showcase Reel Big Fish’s ska sound while infusing Zolof’s infectious pop influence, evident in song choices like Madonna’s “Dress You Up.”
The best track on the EP is the cover of Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” coming so close to the original that I was surprised it was a cover the first time I heard it. In a blog from the MySpace page created to promote the EP, Aaron says this was intentional because “it is perfect the way it is, and [we”> really didn’t want to ruin a classic.” He follows up by joking that they ruined it anyway, but their version does justice an already wonderful song.
Choosing their Fishbone cover as the best song was a tough decision, with the second best being their cover of “Ask,” my favorite song by The Smiths. Their treatment of the song gives it a ska twist while keeping the smooth vocals and overall mood intact. Both bands do a great job of adding their own flavor to a modern classic.
These two tracks are the “great” and the “really good” of the EP, and there is also the “unique” – a cover of “It’s Not Easy” from the Disney movie “Pete’s Dragon.” Yes, it’s cheesy and sappy, but it’s also oh-so-fun to find yourself sitting there, singing along to a Disney song with a smile on your face.
While it may be a little early to decide, without a doubt, Duet All Night Long is a contender for most entertaining EP of the year. It is nourishment for your kid at heart, so stop starving him and pick up a copy.