In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Justified my anticipation when it came out five years ago, and it did just as a good a job on this re-listen as well.”
For me, more often than not, my favourite albums from any bands I love tend to be the album that helped me discover them, and the first new album that came out after that discovery. That holds true for Regurgitator. Tu-Plang was the first record of theirs I bought, and it’s my favourite. Unit was the first to come out after I devoured Tu-Plang, and it’s probably in the top 10 of records I have listened to most from beginning to end. But what makes Regurgitator stand out from most other bands in my CD collection, is how deep into their catalogue they are, and how consistently I still love everything they put out. Which was definitely the case with the release of SuperHappyFunTimesFriends.
With the most obviously fake drum sound imaginable, leading into a super lo-fi guitar for some jangled, indie, pop rock, One Day really is a quintessential Regurgitator song, even before the unmistakable vocals of Quan Yeomans appear. Throw in a little hip hop, and it could nicely represent their entire oeuvre in less than two and a half minutes. At just 21 seconds of punk rock energy with zero aggression and all tongue in cheek, the shout out to Bill Paxton in Aliens that is Game Over Dude is pure Ben Ely.
From its faux piano ballad intro, to industrially electronic, hard core hip hop anger, All Fake Everything is yet another showcase for Yeomans’ impressive knack for weaving words and beats into a seamless symbiosis. With its gently finger picked, nylon stringed guitar, flighty flute and lyrics like, the title track goes as acoustically trippy as intentionally over the top lyrics like, “I trip over a mushroom, ride the purple dragon ‘til we find the magic rainbow”, might suggest.
The blown out bassline and rolling tom-tom drums of Punk Mum sounds like it started as a “punk” song written by middle aged composers for a Disney movie, before being given the Regurgitator twist. Both Regurgitator co-leaders indulge in some mainstream throwback, with Ely’s Be Still My Noisy Mind sounding like 80s guitar rock, before Yeomans delivers some 90s pop punk with Now Show. The vintage appropriation continues with the spot on 80s synth darkness and over earnestness of Into the Night.
I can’t think of any bands who reached a peak or provided any satisfying surprises seven records into their discography, and it doesn’t happen here either. And while that might not sound like the most enthusiastic or promising start to my concluding thoughts about SuperHappyFunTimesFriends, I will clarify that I really like this album, and I think Regurgitator is a band that has never really had any dips in quality in their almost quarter of a century of releasing music.
I personally seem to have a threshold of about three or four albums for any band where I stop having my mind blown, and move into a more subdued mode of quiet appreciation. The ‘Gurge is one of the few bands where still, after all these years and all these records, I get stoked about hearing something new. SuperHappyFunTimesFriends justified that anticipation when it came out five years ago, and it did just as a good a job on this re-listen as well.