The Know How

Happy Fun Robot Kill Time

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

The sophomore effort from this Gainesville, Florida septet finds the band continuing to explore its chosen ska-punk terrain, a territory it claimed as its own shortly after the third wave ska revival of the mid- '90s petered out. The Know How still knows how to generate a raucous party vibe, and although the ratio of okay songs to very good ones is about two to one on Happy Fun Robot Kill Time, you get the distinct impression that the less impressive ones would come across much better in a live setting. The album starts off strong with the satiric "In the Key of Metal" and the bright and poppy "See Her Again" (note the tastefully kitschy Moog synthesizer), but then quickly slides into speed-ska incoherence on "Lately." The rest of the album seesaws between well-crafted pop-wise skank ("Speak Up," "She Says") and banal genre exercises ("Daniel Lurasso Is Going to Fight!," "Rock My Way") that ought to be a lot more fun than they are. If you're impatient for the next Reel Big Fish album, this one will help you pass the time.

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