Here’s a sweet video recorded during SXSW 2017 in Austin, TX
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 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:
Thanks for reading and leave your comments and opinions below! What did you think of the album?
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.
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
If you like your punk mixed with ska, or ska mixed with punk, or ska, or punk, listen to this!
A rad free comp of ska and punk. Give it a whirl!
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!
1. Cooking For Tommy
2. Watch This
3. Married Girl
4. I Still Love You
6. Fried Chicken / Mary, MaryB Side
1. You Must Be Good
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
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
1. Lion’s Share
2. Small Victories
3. Reduce, Reuse, Rebel
4. Bound as One
5. Intro Dub
PRE-ORDER THE RECORD AND STREAM THEIR NEW SONG, “THINGS CHANGE,” NOW!
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.
2. Sick Of It All
3. Laid Off
4. Hey Dear Friend
5. Making Change
6. Six Months
7. Sink or Swim
10. Escape From Philadelphia
11. Drinking to Brazil