Spring Heeled Jack – New Release

I’m pleased to report that one of my long time favorite ska bands is back at it with new music. Sound Salvation, the first new material in nearly 20 years will be premiered at the “CINCO DE JACKO RECORD RELEASE FIESTA LOCO !!” … I seriously wish I could attend.

You can get more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1813172175608675/

At Both Ends – Wheel’s Out The Window

At Both Ends is a pop-punk ska band reminiscent of the big 90’s 3rd wave era. They come from Sacramento and “Wheel’s Out the Window”, released under Morning Wood Records! Is their second album.

Alright, let’s get into it. One word I would use to describe this album is dynamic, and my opinion changed several times as the album progressed. As a predominately hardcore and ska-core fan, I was pleasantly surprised by some elements in this work. From the great rumbling bass riff to a thrash-like breakdown, I found many things to enjoy. Don’t let me paint this as a heavy ska-punk album though. The majority of the riffs are built around a poppy electric (emphasis on electric) guitar that most of the time got on my nerves, as did the singing which I will get into soon.

I do have to say I am a big fan of the horns on this album. Although they aren’t in every song I found them fantastic and well linked with the guitar, but were also original and crisp similar to that of Streetlight Manifesto’s many hits. Overall I am a fan of the music except for the voice. The lyrics and singer definitely put a damper on my appreciation of the piece. Though the songs have themes of unconformity (“Your Way”) and freedom (“Freedom”), the lead singer Gene sounds similar to the tone you think of when someone says pop-punk and not in a good way. Not to mention cheesy lyrics and rhymes, I found the album at its best when there wasn’t any singing at all. However, if Reel Big Fish, Green Day, and Less Than Jake are your jams, I think you will enjoy this album. Personally if Gene could pull off a kind of Jason Navarro of The Suicide Machines this album would be twice as good.

Overall I would recommend the album due to an overall appreciation for creating something fresh in the ska scene that announces similar values to that of the masters. Although I critiqued the guitar heavily, it did have its moments as well as the rest of the instruments. About 2/3 of the songs I can see myself listening to again, leaving about 5 or so songs that were in my opinion mediocre due to a pop sound and vocals.

You can find it at bancamp at:
https://atbothendspunk.bandcamp.com/album/wheels-out-the-window

Thanks for reading and leave your comments and opinions below! What did you think of the album?

-PW

The Best of the Worst – Painted Fools

Ska, Punk, Rock and Roll!

New Jersey based The Best of the Worst is back at it with a brand new EP. Painted Fools (available on 04/20/2017) offers up 7 new tracks of, well, ska, punk, and rock and roll.

From dreamy to screamy the band hits a wide range of sounds both across and within individual tracks. I’ll be honest here, I’m not at all familiar with this band, so I’m going to go out on a limb here with who their influences might be. I hear the subtle guiding hand of Bomb the Music Industry, Less Than Jake, Isaac Green and the Skalars, Lawrence Arms and, I don’t know, maybe some Tom Petty.

I am honestly a bit disappointed that I haven’t heard of them before, because I’m rather enjoying what I’m hearing. They’ve got track complexity, without being obtuse. The songs are well crafted with subtlety and nuance. Good takes. Good mix. There’s a link below. Go and buy a copy. Support local music, even if local is 1000s of miles away from where you really are.

We have the internet people! You can listen to sweet new music and then give a band some of your hard earned ducats so that they too can enjoy the sweet life of top shelf ramen on occasion.

http://chokeartist.storenvy.com/products/19480255-the-best-of-the-worst-painted-fools-cd

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Habits Live Hard
2. Inside My Apartment
3. Where Complacency Lives.
4. Spoiler Alert:
5. Doesn’t Really Matter, (feat. Tom Etts)
6. Like Bugs in Amber
7. We’ve Been Held Captive

NEW RELEASE: THE SLACKERS “REDLIGHT” 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION COMES WITH 3 BONUS TRACKS!

Long out-of-print, this classic sophomore album by one of the greatest ska bands ever has been given the proper 20th anniversary treatment. This is a must-have for any Slackers fan, regardless of whether you own the original or not. Having been remastered for vinyl, and pressed on 180gram vinyl, “Redlight” has never sounded as good; and with a two-color foil stamped cover, exclusive art-print insert, and lyric sleeve, it’s never looked so good!

Originally released by Hellcat Records in 1997, this album truly solidified the Slackers’ iconic sound, blending ska, reggae, soul, jazz and dub, seamlessly, with the passion and integrity that the band has embodied for over 25 years.
TRACK LISTING:
A Side
1. Cooking For Tommy
2. Watch This
3. Married Girl
4. I Still Love You
5. Solider
6. Fried Chicken / Mary, MaryB Side
1. You Must Be Good
2. Redlight
3. Tin Tin Deo
4. She Wants To Be Alone
5. Rude And Reckless
6. Come Back Baby

Bonus Digital Tracks:
1. When I Find A Place Where I Belong
2. Calypso Jazz (Iron Bar)
3. Come Back Baby (Glen Adams Mix)

THE SLACKERS’ TOUR DATES:
March 10 – Riverside, CA – Romanos
March 11 – Los Angeles, CA – Skankin Reggae Festival
March 12 – Oakland, CA – Skankin Reggae Festival
March 22 – New Smyrna, Fl – Beachside Tavern
March 23 – Jupiter Beach, FL – Guanabanas
March 24 – Miami, Fl – Churchills
March 25 – Orlando, Fl – Beacham
March 26 – Jacksonville, Fl – Jack Rabbits
March 31 – Winchester, VA – Bright Box
April 1 – Washington DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
April 5 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
April 6 – London, ON – Rum Runners
April 8 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
April 9 – Syracuse, NY – Funk & Waffles
April 22 – Garwood, NJ – Crossroads
April 26 – Yuma, AZ – Alement
April 27 – Phoenix, Az – Crescent Ballroom
April 28 – Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad
April 29 – El Paso, Tx – Rockhouse Bar
April 30 – Tuscon, Az – 181 Toole
May 2 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
May 3 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
May 19 – Montreal, QC – Pouzza Fest
May 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Punk Rock Bowling
June 16 – Boston, MA – Boat Cruise
June 23 – New York, NY – Rocks Off Cruise

SAVE FERRIS DEBUT VIDEO FOR “NEW SOUND”

February 6, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Influential Orange County ska-punk band SAVE FERRIS will release their first record in 17 years, Checkered Past, on February 10th via WITHYN Records. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with PasteMagazine.comto premiere a new video for their hot new single “New Sound.” Fans can pre-order the new EP now at iTunes and Amazon.
Watch the video for “New Sound” now, exclusively at PasteMagazine.com:

Speaking with PasteMagazine.com, Save Ferris’ frontwoman Monique Powell says “Filming this video was so much fun because it was literally a house party with our friends. Directing the video was my dear friend Piper Ferguson. I have wanted to do a video with Piper for years but because Piper typically does such high budget productions, I was afraid she might say no. Fortunately this is a situation in which having good friends that are incredibly talented comes in handy. You can truly tell this was a passion project for her. Having Angelo Moore (Fishbone, Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step) there was a given, as we always have so much fun together. The only person missing was Nev, he flew in his parts from the UK.”
The music video for “New Sound” opens at a lame house party that suddenly becomes an epic throwdown with the assistance of Save Ferris. The video features a cameo by Fishbone’s Angelo Moore and a vocal/cameo by Neville Staple, former vocalist for the legendary 2 tone ska band The Specials.
The video comes just days before the release of Save Ferris long-awaited new EP, Checkered Past, and their headline North American tour, which kicks off Friday with support from Vista Kicks (West Coast dates) and Baby Baby (East Coast dates). Dates and links to purchase tickets can be found below. Follow the band at facebook.com/saveferrisofficial for more information.
Save Ferris Tour Dates:
Feb 10 – Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones (Buy Tickets)
Feb 11 – Las Vegas, NV – Backstage Bar (Buy Tickets)
Feb 12 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up (Buy Tickets)
Feb 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge (Buy Tickets)
Feb 16 – Dallas, TX – Trees (Buy Tickets)
Feb 17 – Austin, TX – Barracuda (Buy Tickets)
Feb 18 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall (Buy Tickets)
Feb 20 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall (Buy Tickets)
Feb 22 – Orlando, FL – Backbooth (Buy Tickets)
Feb 23 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live (Buy Tickets)
Feb 24 – St. Petersburg, FL – State Theatre (Buy Tickets)
Feb 25 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Hell) (Buy Tickets)
Feb 26 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In (Buy Tickets)
Mar 1 – Washington, DC – Black Cat (Buy Tickets)
Mar 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts (Buy Tickets)
Mar 3 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony (Buy Tickets)
Mar 4 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre (Buy Tickets)
Mar 5 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall (Buy Tickets)
Mar 7 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace (Buy Tickets)
Mar 8 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theatre (Buy Tickets)
Mar 9 – Ferndale, MI – Loving Touch (Buy Tickets)
Mar 10 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge (Buy Tickets)
Mar 11 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line (Buy Tickets)
Mar 14 – Denver, CO – Bluebird (Buy Tickets)
Mar 15 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall (Buy Tickets)
Mar 17 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre (Buy Tickets)
Mar 18 – Vancouver, BC – Venue (Buy Tickets)
Mar 19 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern (Buy Tickets)
Mar 22 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium (Buy Tickets)
Mar 23 – San Francisco, CA – Independent (Buy Tickets)
Mar 24 – Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s (Buy Tickets)
Mar 26 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues (Buy Tickets)
For More Information:

And The Wasters – State of Repair EP

© 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Here’s an interesting little slice of audio for ya. State of Repair, a forthcoming EP by Bristol based folk-ska-punk act “And The Wasters”. Five tracks of music spanning several decades of influence.

I’m immediately struck by how much it reminds me of many of my favorite late 70s / early 80s UK favorites: The Specials and Fun Boy Three, Madness, Pogues, Clash, then throw in a bit of more modern influence of Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello. Blend it up even more with some dub ska instrumental jams ala Skatalites and I think you’ll get a sense of what I’m picking up.

The opening track, Lion’s Share sets the tone of disenchantment. Without picking apart each track, I get a strong sense of anarcho/pirate punk and a bit of an anti-establishment bent, certainly helpful for any sort of protest music. The tracks are up-tempo and catchy and at only five songs, I’m left with wanting more.

I feel like maybe the tracks I’ve been given to listen to are a bit out of order, what with “Intro Dub” occurring last, but hey, who am I to judge? At any rate, I’ve listened to the EP about 10x through now and I am totally into it. If you haven’t heard And The Wasters, I demand you check them out!

“After many years touring Festivals, Squats and far-flung venues, And the Wasters have evolved from their Folk-Punk-Ska roots through elements of Hip-hop, Balkan & Latin. They weld this explosive musical concoction with an empowering political message to create a relentless live energy!” ~And The Wasters

https://willtunandthewasters1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/willtunandthewasters

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Lion’s Share
2. Small Victories
3. Reduce, Reuse, Rebel
4. Bound as One
5. Intro Dub

Less Thank Jake New Album on Feb 3rd

LESS THAN JAKE WILL RELEASE NEW EP, ‘SOUND THE ALARM,’ ON FEB 3RD;
PRE-ORDER THE RECORD AND STREAM THEIR NEW SONG, “THINGS CHANGE,” NOW!
January 4, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Influential Gainesville punk band Less Than Jake has announced plans to release a new EP titled Sound The Alarm on February 3rd with their new label Pure Noise Records.
Fans can pre-order the record and stream a brand new song called “Things Change” now at http://smarturl.it/LTJ.
Speaking about the new song, lyricist and drummer Vinnie Fiorello says “the only thing constant is change” is one of the lines in the chorus of the song and such a massive truth to me. The sooner you could realize this, digest it, and embrace it the better off you’re going to be. Let it all move forward, at lightning speed. Everything and everyone changes, the world keeps on spinning like it or not.”
Less Than Jake’s new EP, Sound The Alarm, marks an exciting new chapter for the band as they celebrate 25 years together and a newly inked deal with Pure Noise Records. Featuring 7, ska infused punk songs that quickly remind listeners of the band’s incredible ability to craft memorable, hook-filled music.
“We started writing this set of songs, similar to our last record See The Light, sitting around a table in our warehouse with some acoustic guitars, lyrics scribbled on scraps of paper, and a constant barrage of ideas,” Fiorello explains. “Trying ideas as they would come out, sometimes chasing the idea, or getting connected or not connected to an idea right away. We had been writing and were planning on fleshing out the ideas while on Warped Tour.” 
Sound The Alarm was recorded and produced by Roger Lima and mixed at the famed punk recording studio, The Blasting Room, in Fort Collins, CO. The band wrapped the record following their run on last summer’s Vans Warped Tour.
After years of releasing records through various major and independent labels Less Than Jake has found a new home at the Southern California based Pure Noise Records.
“When I met Jake at the San Francisco stop of Warped Tour, we talked about working together,” Fiorello adds. “He is a longtime fan, knows the history and the arch of LTJ and that’s important to know where we have to go. It’s always great to have a mutual respect between band and label and that is exactly what we have between LTJ and Pure Noise.”
Fans can catch Less Than Jake live this winter on their co-headline U.S. tour with San Diego rock band Pepper, which starts in Dallas, TX on January 20th and wraps in St. Petersburg, FL on February 28th. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.lessthanjake.com/.
Follow the band at https://www.facebook.com/lessthanjake for additional updates.
Less Than Jake Tour Dates (w/Pepper):
Jan 20 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
Jan 21 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Jan 22 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Jan 25 – San Diego, CA – North Park
Jan 26 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 27 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 28 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield
Jan 30 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Jan 31 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 02 – SLC, UT – The Complex
Feb 03 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 04 – Sioux City, IA – Hard Rock
Feb 06 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
Feb 07 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Feb 08 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Feb 09 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
Feb 10 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Feb 11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
Feb 12 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
Feb 15 – Portland, ME – State Theater
Feb 16 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues
Feb 17 – NYC, NY – Playstation Theater
Feb 18 – Huntington, NY – Paramount
Feb 19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Feb 21 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Feb 22 – Richmond, VA – The National
Feb 23 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Feb 24 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Feb 25 – St Augustine, FL – St Augustine Amphitheater
Feb 26 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – Revolution (Outdoor Stage)
Feb 28 – St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
For More Information:

Behind Deadlines – Status Quo

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

behind_deadlines_status_quo

Yay! New Ska!

I’m listening to “Status Quo” the forthcoming debut full-length album from Philadelphia based ska punk band, Behind Deadlines. The release features 10 peppy tracks, and is a damn nice way to start into this holiday season. [Edit, the album actually will have 11 tracks when released. The updated track listing is below.] I think the band and I may differ slightly with the punk to ska ratio. I’d say, that the punk portion is tempered a bit with funk. But hey, I’m not the arbiter of such things (or am I) Overall it’s a winning combination and more of what this world needs.

The album sounds polished. Mix is clean and the levels all seem to sit right where they ought to. I suppose this stands to reason. The production has a solid pedigree, having been recorded by Dan Malsch (Bigwig, Four Year Strong, Forever the Sickest Kids) and mixed by Mark Michalik (The Swellers, We Are The Union, Fireworks, Into It Over It, The Wonder Years).

Over the years I swear it’s become more challenging for me to decide on specific influences that bands have. They have to be pretty blatantly obvious. If I had to throw a few out there, I’d suggest Less Than Jake, Mustard Plug, Deal’s Gone Bad, and Bosstones. I might just be name dropping. Who knows? The takeaway is that fan’s of the aforementioned bands, will probably find some affinity for Behind Deadlines as well. Give it a whirl.

A few notes on individual tracks: I’m not a big fan of guitar solos, but the first solo on track 4, “Hey Dear Friend” is tasteful as all getout. I fully approve. As well, the horns that kick in around the 8 second mark on track 5, “Making Change” are damn tasty too.

I won’t spend a whole lot of time telling you what you already know. If you like ska, punk, fun danceable rock and roll, or any combination thereof, please checkout Status Quo and if you can, go check out a live show. If you’re not on the East Coast, the band is playing a few select dates on the Best Coast too.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Biochemistry
2. Sick Of It All
3. Laid Off
4. Hey Dear Friend
5. Making Change
6. Six Months
7. Sink or Swim
8. Optimism
9. Worthless
10. Escape From Philadelphia
11. Drinking to Brazil

Bitter Grounds – Struck Out (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Dutch punk/ska outfit Bitter Grounds, just released a music video of their song ‘Struck Out’. The song will be featured on the upcoming full-length album, to be released near the end of the year through German DIY label Ring of Fire Records.

You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KmiYSj2u9E or watch it below.

Bitter Grounds rose from the ashes of ska-punk band Beans, which formed in 1996 and played hundreds of shows, and released four well-received records, until calling it quits around 2005. Ten years and several bands later, the foursome are back better than ever!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually