Despite a summer full of uncertainty and times no one could have ever imagined, The Fun Boys unexpectedly dropped their first full-length album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Fun three years after their debut EP Too Fun.
The album was announced via social media on July 4th, with an instagram post featuring the incredibly fascinating album art, captioned “Hey hey, everybody. Our debut album “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Fun” is now available on your favorite streaming platforms. It’s free for everyone, unlike America.”
Upon clicking the link in their bio, you are brought to an nymag article (click here) that lists 142 places to donate to black lives and communities of color. This action is a direct reflection of the amazing and caring members of this band that I have come to know the past few years.
My love for The Fun Boys is reflected in the sheer amount of exciting live performances I’ve witnessed (a number in the double digits) and the numerous times I’ve had the privilege to write about them. That being said, I couldn’t wait to dive into this album.
The intro contains dialogue from the ferociously unpredictable, sporadic and energetic front man Sam Whalen; it’s a letter written at him from his drummer/other comedic mastermind half Colin Shultzaberger. The writing calls Whalen “self absorbed, thoughtless and childish throughout what is referred to as a “business relationship”. Without digging too deep into personal matters it’s a very profound way to start an album but also an incredibly moving reflection of human relationships.
The album starts with the staple track “Too Fun” (following the band’s first EP of the same name). It’s a song with chaotic energy when played at live shows – fast, punky, and concise. The song’s highlight is the shouted lyrics “Having the best time, too much fun” along with Whalen’s upfront and unique voice. A fun singalong to kick off the jams.
The tracks don’t match up in a typical fashion as the song styles vary throughout; from early Panic! At The Disco influenced “Ed O’neill” to the slower soulful grooves of “Body” and “Hat Tats”, The Fun Boys don’t drown in the versatility, instead they float through it with PBRs in hand.
My biggest challenge about reviewing about a Fun Boys album comes when I realize how difficult it is to capture the energy they possess during a live show. The bits of comedy and improv that are usually dispersed in their sets makes for one of the most unique concert experiences Frederick has to offer. Luckily, I was proven wrong, mainly by “Barrel” which is a live track! It’s definitely my favorite for that reason.
Who knows when The Fun Boys may perform their next gig… but in the meantime enjoy this tasty morsel of tunage!