[21 July 2005]
Although the world had fallen into the grips of Terrible Slavery, our Greatest Champions were nowhere to be found! Although they had previously fought through the Hordes of Evil to save our Reality from Absolute Destruction on 1995’s The Return of The Aquabats! as well 1997’s The Fury of the Aquabats! and 1999’s Aquabats Vs. the Floating Eye of Death!, the ensuing six years saw the Aquabat Legion sapped by the fiendish forces of Label Attrition—seeing their allies in the Goldenvoice Army destroyed in 2000—as well as the awesome might of Suburban Mundane-O, the only power great enough to force Our Heroes to return to their Civilian Identities for an extended sabbatical! Dark rumor even held that the Masked Marauders of Might were being held captive against their will, sequestered in some Vast Dungeon of Pain on the Far Side of the Universe!
But now, in our Hour of Greatest Need, the Paladins of Power have returned from their Dire Exile to Save Us All! Although the forces of Anti-Life and Eternal Wrath had almost fully routed the Forces of Righteousness who held the gates of All Civilization against Total Obliteration, The Aquabats have again delivered a Decisive Blow for All Things Good and Wonderful! Those who doubted their fidelity to the Cause of Justice throughout the winter of their Long Absence must now bow their heads in Eternal Shame!
But much has changed in the ensuing six years for the Champions of Justice! The great eldritch Nuclear Ska Force that previously empowered their greatest weapons has been supplanted by an obeisance to the Great Lord of Pop-Punk, the same Dread Master observed by the likes of Bowling For Soup! The power rests well on their broad rolling shoulders, enabling them to channel the Great God Ocasek, he of The Super Intergalactic Cars of Greater Boston! The influence of this New Wave of Might can best be seen in coded transmissions such as “Nerd Alert!” and “Hot Summer Nights (Won’t Last Forever)!”, where the Hard Rock is fused with the Smooth Synthesizer Pop to weld an Artifact of Great Durability, similar in effect to the Waves of Subatomic Devastation wielded by the great Rivers Cuomo, Barbarian King of the Land of Weezer!
Observing the Aquabats changed Battle Tactics over the course of their Charge!! Campaign, it is interesting to note the similarities between the Aquabats’ strategic transformation and that of other groups who have abandoned the Nuclear Ska Force for the more universal Ultimate Pop! Those Saracens of Southern California, No Doubt, have obliterated nearly all vestiges of the great Ska Force in favor of the chameleon-like Uber-Rock! Although this no doubt served to widen the effectiveness of their Commercial Appeal, it also sapped their Vigor and left them Vulnerable to flanking maneuvers from the forces of Craptitude! Indeed, The Aquabats current strategic manifesto bears a strong resemblance to some of No Doubt’s great late-period tactical accomplishments, especially on portions pertaining to the plague of “Fashion Zombies!” and the propaganda manifesto “Look At Me, I’m A Winner!”
Ironically, considering their near wholesale abandonment of the strategy, the greatest victory on Charge!! comes on the only battle to utilize the almost totally discredited Ska Force to full effect, the ebullient “Waterslides!” Although the Ska Force is a powerful and dangerous weapon, known to backfire in the hands of lesser wielders and leave entire continents decimated, in the right hands the Eternal Skank can be harnessed to Unbelievable Effect! Witness their First, and Still Greatest maneuver, the Pure Cosmic Power that is “Super Rad!”, from their aforementioned 1997 campaign! This was perhaps the greatest single display of Destructive Might in the History of the Universe, and the echoes of it can still be heard bouncing between the Suns of the Outer Galaxies! Those wishing to see a display of Awesomeness of the same Magnitude will come away disappointed.
So, although the Forces of Depravity and Injustice may be temporarily routed, what does the future hold for Our Heroes? Will their newfound allegiance to the world of Power Pop be enough to conquer their Bitter Foes—and perhaps engender a Crossover Hit—or will they be forced to Suffer for Abandoning their Greatest Asset to the whims of Fickle Fashion? Stay Tuned, for All this, And More To Come, will be revealed in the next Adventure of the Mighty Aquabats…
Same Aquabat Time,
Same Aquabat Channel!!!
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/aquabats-charge/