Should Ska Fans Hate The Aquabats?

A checkerboard background with the text “Do The Aquabats deserve the hate reserved by ska fans for Reel Big Fish?”
Care for a game of checkers?

Ska Bad.

A meme with a photo of the band Reel Big Fish that says “I once heard ska described as what plays in a 13-year-olds head when he gets an extra mozzarella stick” and nothing in this world is more accurate”
Of course, they used a photo of Reel Big Fish

I think this is simply because of their popularity. They were one of the most visible (audible?) bands of the late 90’s Ska-boom and therefore subject to more scrutiny than most other bands in the genre.

You could describe their music as sort of frat-bro-party-ska. They even have a song called “Beer,” which was indubitably sung at many contemporary college keggers. Although, to be fair it really isn’t a party anthem if you listen to the lyrics — which I guarantee most people didn’t.

But why is it necessary for him to have to defend them in a book that’s entire message is that ska is cool and worth celebrating?

It’s easier to endorse art that is explicitly morally positive or deals with seemingly serious subject matter. It’s the Oscar-bait phenomenon (AKA Ethical Aestheticism).

But what about The Aquabats?

A photo of the band the Aquabats
Dudes Rock

So why do ska fans generally not feel the need to distance themselves from The Aquabats?

Is it just that they are so good at what they do, that they transcend the stigma of goofy inauthenticity and frivolousness?

A picture of Joey Ramone from the punk band The Ramones.
A cartoon man skanking GIF
Ska Man Go Kick

So, should ska fans hate The Aquabats INSTEAD OF Reel Big Fish?

No, of course not. They should hate all ska because: Ska Bad.



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Scott Greenberg (Scott Making Cents)

Scott Greenberg (Scott Making Cents)

Scott is a music producer and songwriter from NYC who specializes in comedic popular music and releases solo work under the name Scott Making Cents.