The Amalgamated – Premium Quality


San Diego’s own trad-ska combo The Amalgamated are back with some Premium Quality recordings. Putting their soulful reggae ska spin on some legendary tracks. Step lively now and give it a whirl.

If you aren’t familiar with the band, here’s a bit of their bio:

The Amalgamated are a traditional ska/jazz band, influenced very much by early SKA styles, old reggae tunes, great jazz standards and soulful ballads in the vain of the late 60’s. A 10-member ensemble that includes vocals, two guitars, stand-up bass, dual saxophones, trumpets, trombone, keys and percussion.

About the album:

This is a tribute to the artists that influence and inspire the band. These crowd pleasing tunes done in the style of Traditional Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae will have you dancing all night long. Recorded in 2013 at After hours Studio Ramona, CA

The new album boasts covers as diverse as All of Me, Crazy, and Twistin’ the Night Away, all performed with The Amalgamated’s signature swagger. It’s a covers album, sure, but it’s the bands take on songs that influenced and inspire them.

Above all, it’s fun album. Get some.

Tracks:
01 – My Little Suede Shoes
02 – All of Me
03 – Crazy
04 – I Love Paris
05 – Run Down
06 – A Love I Can Feel
07 – Black Orpheus
08 – That’ll Do Nicely
09 – Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White
10 – Twistin’ the Night Away
11 – La Cumparsita

Ease Up – Return to Sender

I’m giving a quick listen to the new three track EP by ska/punk/reggae band Ease Up. I suppose that two and a half songs may be more apt. There are certainly three tracks, but two are very distinct versions of the same song, “Return to Sender” (not a cover). Bear in mind, the order that I am listening to the tracks is not the order that they will be on the release. (See below)

If you are down with any of the above mentioned genres, I think you’ll be pleased with the results of the band’s efforts. The two versions of “Return to Sender” alternate between a decidedly 3rd wave initial take into an sun-drenched island reggae version, heavy on the sleepy ganja-laced vibe. The final track cuts back to the faster and heavier vibe of the first, but with a rather Sublime vs. Less Than Jake appeal.

At the end of it all, this is quintessential SoCal summer beach music. Ska and Reggae vibes mixed with a decent dose of punk swagger.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Track Listing:
1. Return to Sender (2:43)
2. Turnaround (2:58)
3. Return to Sender (Mix) (3:35)

Get some: http://www.easeupmusic.net

JAYA THE CAT – ‘FAKE CARRERAS’

Originating from Boston and currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Jaya The Cat are one of the premiere bands on the European live circuit.
The quartet, who coin their style as “Drunk Reggae Punk” have shared the new video for ‘Fake Carreras’, taken from the 2012 album, ‘The New International Sound Of Hedonism’.
Speaking on the video, vocalist Geoff Lagadec says, “So, we took a little time off from working on our new album to make this sweet tour video for ‘Fake Carreras’. We hope you love it as much as we love you!

Excuse The Blood – Demo EP

(c) 2008 Excuse The Blood
Rating: ★★★☆☆

excuse_the_blood Excuse The Blood is a Bay area 3-piece outfit with a pretty eclectic mix of sounds. Without trying to pigeon hole them, they sound like a mix of Slapshot-esque hardcore and a reggae/ska/punk blend ala Op Ivy or perhaps Rudiments. Despite the obvious influence the music feels fresh. The tempo keeps a good pace through the five tracks. That the disc is only a demo perhaps is the biggest shortcoming. Since I don’t have more of a sampling I’m going with a 3/5 instead of possibly higher. I’d like to hear more from Excuse The Blood. Until such time that a new release comes out, you can check the band out at their website www.excusetheblood.com

–Jerry Actually

Aggrolites Kick Off US Tour

THE AGGROLITES KICK OFF US TOUR IN ANTICIPATION OF NEW ALBUM

Soulful Dirty Reggae Group Embarks On US Tour In Support of Their New Album, IV, Due Out June 9th
“Through sheer force of will (not to mention grooves so enticing you can’t help but fall into them), this quintet simply commands you to buy into their music, which they call “dirty reggae.” It’s rock-steady with a punk-funk edge, with frontman Jesse Wagner’s white-soul vocals and Roger Rivas’ crazy organ lines giving it a party-or-die feel.” – Kevin Bronson, buzzbands.la
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Jaya the Cat – More Late Night Transmissions With…

(c)2007 I Scream Records

Rating: ★★★★☆

jayathecat-morelatenighttra Bosterdamian group Jaya the Cat deliver a unique fusion of punk, reggae, rock, and ska that took a few listens before it gelled into awesome.  More Late Night Transmissions With… bounces across the Atlantic like Cannabis Cup winning weed followed by a dram of 20 yr barrel aged Glensomething whiskey — oh-so-hazy and smoother than a mo’fo’.

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The Aggrolites

Back in Studio for Fourth Album
Open for Michael Franti & Spearhead
Selected to Join Flogging Molly’s Green 17 Tour

“The Aggrolites are one of the most unique bands out there today. In an era where way too many groups sound the same, it’s nice to have a group that is like a breath of fresh air. Their tunes can turn any bad day into a good one and their lyrics will have you singing along in no time.” – Quinnipiac Chronicle (Oct. 2008)

The Aggrolites have returned to the studio to craft their fourth full-length album and follow-up to the acclaimed Reggae Hit L.A. (Hellcat Records). Recording at Kingsize Soundlabs in Los Angeles, and scheduled for release in May 2009, the new album is guaranteed to deliver even more of their signature hard-hitting, soul-infused reggae.

The Aggrolites join socially conscious roots rockers Michael Franti & Spearhead at the new Club Nokia at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles on January 31. Poet, musician and composer, Franti blends hip-hop, funk and reggae together with his outspoken political and progressive lyrics, and has gone on to become a worldwide million-selling artist and a leader in the peace and social justice movement. This show is part of Michael Franti & Spearhead’s 2009 Hey World Tour in support of All Rebel Rockers (Anti- Records), their first Top 40 album. This is the debut pairing of these two truly progressive bands with equally diverse and devoted fan bases. www.spearheadvibrations.com


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Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone's Refuge All Stars – Livin Like A Refugee (c) 2007 Anti Records Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars make Reggae flavored World/Affrobeat music.  They are decent at what they do.  However, If you heard them in the background, you might not even pay that much attention.  They don't break any sonic barriers.  They aren't going to astound you with their radical new approach to music.  Why, you ask, should I even bother then? I'll tell ya there fella. The story is what makes them amazing.  11 musicians from in or around Freetown Sierra Leone, Africa, all living in a refugee camp in Guinea forge together and triumph over adversity.  Imagine being torn from your home and sent to a foreign land to live in makeshift camps, not knowing your fate from one day to the next and still having the time and wherewithal to come together as a group.  That is freaking awesome.  The rising above the pain and struggle through music.  It is the core and essence of humanity.  Plus, despite what I said at the top, this is a good disc.  It is musically apt and enjoyable to listen to, even if it isn't incredibly innovative.  So do the world a favor and say hello to your neighbors from Sierra Leone.–Jerry Actually