Posts Tagged ‘Ska’

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Streetlight Manifesto – Everything Goes Numb

Monday, January 19, 2009
Everything Goes Numb (2003)

Everything Goes Numb (2003)

I’m a fan of fast-paced, frenetic music.  That’s one reason why I adore ska and punk ska as much as I do and why Streetlight Manifesto happens to be my favorite band.  If there’s one word I would use to describe Everything Goes Numb, it would be “neat.”  But if I could use two words, they would be “neat” and “manic.”

Tomas Kalnoky displays his creativity in songwriting once again on this CD. The former Catch-22 frontman and his entourage have delivered a masterpiece that I believe is the best ska album this century.  The talent assembled in that recording studio is unparalleled amongst ska bands today.

This CD displays a full range of emotions and topics.  The opening track, “Everything Went Numb,” starts out with a bang.  Horn riffs will come flying out of your speakers and hit you in the face.  “Point/Counterpoint” starts out slow, then speeds up to typical Streetlight speed.  It sounds like the same musical sugar high you get with early Catch-22. That song, friends, is a great song to skank to.

The title of best song on this CD, however, goes to “A Better Place, A Better Time.”  If any song can grab the title of Ska Epic, this song can.  At six and a half minutes, it’s definitely the longest ska song I’ve ever heard.  It’s also overflowing in amazingness.

Each song has its own unique identity (even the two that are built off of the same motif).  Throughout the CD, all the songs cruise at a ridiculously fast tempo.  I could go on and on, but I will summarize it all by saying that you are doing a disservice to yourself if you do not seek out and listen to this CD. And if you ever get a chance, you owe it to yourself to see them live.

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The Pietasters – Willis

Sunday, January 4, 2009
Willis (1997)

Willis (1997)

The Pietasters first came to my attention when one of their songs was featured on a video game a few years ago.  Since then I have found it difficult to get my hands on this CD and I didn’t know of anybody who had heard of them, much less liked their music.  But I finally got my hands on a copy and Willis by the Pietasters, released in 1997, is a good example that the best bands are sometimes the hardest to find.

Hailing from the same ska-punk tradition established by bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Pietasters expand on the ska-punk theme while maintaining a traditional ska feel.  The opening track, entitled “Crazy Monkey Woman,” is very much a punk song.  The second song, “Out All Night,” is a catchy ska tune with some definitey Bosstone influence.  This is the song that got me turned onto them in the first place.

This CD is balanced out by the traditiona ska feel the Pietasters bring into their songs.  “Higher” is a good example of a traditional ska song.  It’s got a great reggae feel, which gives you a break from the manic melodies present throughout the CD.  A couple of tracks later, the Pietasters bring it out again in “Whithout You.”  This track makes me want to go to the beach.  It brings out a traditional ska feel while sticking to a more modern 3rd wave feel.

Willis ends with another more traditional tune, rounding out an excellent album.  Whether you prefer a ska-punk feel, a 3rd wave feel, or a traditional feel, this ska album offers a little bit of everything.  Anybody who enjoys ska and grew up in the 90’s will love this CD without question.