Updated: May 24, 2021
Release date: October 31, 2017 Genre: Punk Rock, Pop-punk Label: Independent If you want a straight-up classic DIY, raw, highly infectious punk album, this is the album for you. Jumping the Shark is the ten-track debut brought to you by Doc Fly, who also goes by The Masked Viner on social media. Doc Fly first gained an internet following by making six-second covers on the short-form video hosting service, Vine, while mysteriously hiding his identity by wearing his infamous white and blue clown luchador mask. In some of his Vines, an MTV Video Music Award -a Moon Man- appears with no solid explanation as to how The Masked Viner obtained one during his career. All the vocals, guitars, and bass on Jumping the Shark are handled by The Masked Viner himself, while the drums were handled by Ryan Folden. The album opens up with the infectious punk anthem, "Punk Rock Kid." This one is for all you punk rock kids out there, of course. Featuring a catchy power chord riff, a catchy chorus throughout, and a slow melodic acoustic outro, this song will immediately put its hook into you, kickstarting a craving to hear more of Doc Fly.
Following "Punk Rock Kid," is Doc Fly's cover of the popular 1983 single, "Holiday Road." Originally performed by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, the single written for the film National Lampoon's Vacation. Doc Fly’s cover is an unforgettable take on the already incredibly catchy tune. It's the album's lead single, and after you hear it the first time, you'll understand immediately why it was chosen to be. The cover also features both Mike Herrera of MxPx on vocals and Charlie Paulson, formerly of Goldfinger, on guitar.
"One of Us" breaks genre barriers by mixing Doo-Wop, a popular genre primarily in the 1940s through the 1960s, with punk rock. Something I have never heard of before until now. "One of Us" is simply a unique song showcasing Doc Fly’s occasional orthodox songwriting. "My Girl For Tonight" is a power chord-heavy tune about a one-night stand. On the song, "Flying Around," Doc Fly slows it down just a tad with an acoustic ballad about the excitement of being around someone you love.
"The Party Song" is self-explanatory about what the lyrical theme pertains to. You sure are going to crank this one to eleven and "party hard and raise the mother -expletive- roof," as The Masked Viner proclaims in the track. "The Party Song" is one of the most irresistible tunes on Jumping the Shark. Following "The Party Song" is the track "Contagious," which is certainly a love song, but is also essentially the comedy track of the album with pauses between certain lyrics to leave you with a few different innuendos. The song also features faster singing than any other track on the album, which might make you say it’s quite a contagious song.
The song's wordplay, along with its lyric video, reminds me of The Arrogant Worms' song, "The Assumption Song." To close out Jumping the Shark are the tracks "Y.O.Y" and "Standing in the Rain." "Y.O.Y," a shortened form of "why oh why," features some resemblance to "One of Us" and ends with another soft and melodic acoustic outro. While "Standing in the Rain" is another ballad, this time performed on piano instead of an acoustic guitar. "Standing in the Rain" is by far the slowest song on the album with the perfect feel to end the album off properly.
Even though Jumping the Shark is an underappreciated album in my honest opinion, and after just one listen you will certainly be left wanting more. If you enjoy this album as much as I did on the first listen, it only gets better with every listen. You are also in luck as Jumping the Shark is only part one of a trilogy of albums, so make sure to watch out for more music from Doc Fly very soon.
Check out more from Doc Fly (The Masked Viner):