The Aquabats, “Fashion Zombies”

Given all the musicbased articles I’ve done for the site, it may surprise you to learn that I wasn’t always this way. For much of my early life, I was more of a passive listener of music. If it was on the radio or something my parents were listening to, then by golly, that’s what I was listening to as well. During my later school years, there was intense pressure on me to do well in school and any potential distractions (like music) were largely frowned on during the school year.

When I first really started getting into music, I focused mostly on humor-based material. Naturally I started out with Weird Al and later graduated to (thanks to a push from Strange Jason) Frank Zappa. Over the years, I’d occasionally hear references to a band called “The Aquabats” who specialized in humorous rock, all while wearing homemade superhero costumes. Although they sounded exactly like something I’d be into, but I always seemed to keep putting off investigating further. When I was in college, money was extremely tight and the workload made it all too easy to forget about discovering new bands.

Flash forward to about 2008 or 2009. Not long after Jason hooked me up with a link to the original pilot for The Aquabats! Super Show!, I came across a free listing for the Aquabats on an OnDemand music channel. Naturally, I selected it and came across the greatness of the song “Fashion Zombies.” I was immediately hooked. You can check it out right now thanks to NitroPunkRock (the official Youtube channel of the band’s then-record label):

The catchy music was great, as was the humorous fight sequences and goofy painted on mustache and faux missing tooth on MC Bat Commander. Said Commander is played by Christian Jacobs, the creator of Yo Gabba Gabba! (a development that ultimately changed the Aquabats’ musical focus). The album that “Fashion Zombies” appeared on, Charge!!, turned out to be the last album by the band to have been targeted solely towards an older audience. As you may recall from Strange Jason’s look at their following album, they’re now trying to make their work more accessible to a younger audience. From what I understand, the band had been trying to launch a children’s show for quite some time, although I’ve heard rumors the original version of the pilot for The Aquabats! Super Show! (which eventually aired in altered form on the family-oriented channel the Hub) was aiming for a release on Adult Swim. That, coupled with how the band has been through several musical changes since their 1996 debut, makes their focus on children less shocking to me. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they change things up once again when their show eventually ceases production.

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