Ska-Punk’s glory days of mainstream success and radio air play may have come and gone with yesteryear but the punk sub-genre is far from fading into obscurity. In fact it’s very much alive and well, and we’ve got the bands to prove it. “Skaface: Evolution” is a compilation that focuses on the “punkier” side of ska-punk, highlighting bands that convey the speed or angst that originally helped define our beloved genre. Through trombones, trumpets, saxaphones and upstroked guitars the mode of “ska” delivery varies but the musical aesthetic of this group of artists is undeniably “punk rock.”
We’re releasing this digital comp simply because we think the bands it features are badass and deserve a little more attention in the punk scene at large. It features quality tunes from 15 amazing ska-punk acts, including previously unreleased material from Big D And The Kids Table, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies, 4 Aspirin Morning, Ghetto Blaster and Huge Puppies.
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1. The Resignators – “Rocket Ship”
2. Upbeat Allstars – “Breaking Point”
3. * Mad Caddis – “Distress” (new, faster version)
4. * Huge Puppies – “Depressed Viking”
5. * Ghetto Blaster – “Fall Of Civilization”
6. La Pobreska – “Never Enough”
7. * 4 Aspirin Morning – “All U Need 2 Know”
8. * Mustard Plug – “What Does She Know”
9. Be Like Max – “Get Over It”
10. The Brass Action – “The Devil Down Below”
11. * Big D And The Kids Table – “Social Muckery”
12. The Junk – “Rise And Shine”
13. The First Chairs – “It’s Okay”
14. Faintest Idea – “House Of Cards”
15. Demon Waffle – “Too Slow”
* Previously Unreleased
ABOUT THE BANDS:
“Rocket Ship” appears on The Resignators new album “Down In Flames” which is streaming and up for sale on the band’s bandcamp page. The track has such a great energy it’s a perfect opener for this compilation and for the uninitiated its a great intro to this seven-piece Melbourne ska act’s music.
Stumbling across Upbeat Allstars and their debut full-length album “Wake Up” was one of the strongest influences behind the decision to put together this compilation. That album, available on the band’s webstore, is so full of gems I can’t believe it managed to fly under my radar for so long. “Breaking Point” was written by band members Andrew Baker, Ernest Martin, Nick Hartland and Christie Connoly.
Mad Caddies need no introduction. After 6 studio albums, a live album and a greatest hits release all on Fat Wreck Chords you can’t exactly call these dudes “up and comers” any longer. The version of “Distress” appearing on “Skaface: Evolution” is a much punkier sounding re-recording of a track off the band’s debut release “Quality Softcore.” The band’s return to punk roots in this new version was a welcome change up after the band’s more reggae centric last release. A perfect fit for the theme of this comp.
Originally I had chosen a song called “Tic Tac Brain” off Huge Puppies last full-length “Ürsch” for inclusion in this compilation but then I got my hands on the masters of a few freshly recorded tracks. “Depressed Viking” was my favorite of the bunch and serves as a great intro for those that aren’t yet familiar with the Swiss ska-punk act. The tune will eventually appear on an EP the band is planning to release later this year. Keep your eyes peeled!
Ghetto Blaster was another band I had chosen to represent with a track from their last full-length album but then ended up with a brand new, really solid track instead. The band definitely stands more firmly on the punkier side of ska-punk and “Fall Of A Civilization” certainly helps keep the comp moving ahead at a quick and aggressive pace. I love the vocals on the intro verse of this song. You can stream and purchase Ghetto Blaster’s last full-length “Think For Yourself” on their bandcamp and you’ll find “Fall Of A Civilization” on an EP titled “Tales From Twisted Minds” set for release shortly after “Skaface: Evolution”.
Although LA Pobreska typically represents the more hardcore side of ska-punk (think a more dynamic Voodoo Glow Skulls, complete with a predominance of vocals sung in Spanish) “Never Enough” might actually be the most chilled out song on this compilation. It’s easily the slowest song on their latest full-length “Estamos Unidos” but damn, it’s good! You can find “Estamos Unidos” on iTunes.
“All You Need 2 Know” was originally supposed to appear on 4 Aspirin Morning‘s latest full-length “Ca$h Poor, Liquor Rich” but the Wisconsin ska-punk act decided to keep it a “Skaface: Evolution” original. Just one of the reasons this band kicks ass. Another being that the band has a whole slew of awesome songs on their recent release. You can stream “Ca$h Poor, Liquor Rich” in its entirety right here to see what I mean.
I’ve been a huge Mustard Plug fan for over 15 years so when the band agreed to give us a brand new, never heard before track for “Skaface: Evolution” I was beyond stoked. “What Does She Know” is the first new material from the band since 2007’s “In Black And White” album and it will likely appear on a new full-length that the fellas have been working on for over a year. If the song is any indication of what’s to come, the album will be worth the wait.
“Get Over It” is much too fun a song to leave off this compilation. Especially with the intro. About halfway through the song it makes a great transition that takes the song from good to awesome. You’ll see what I mean. “Get Over It” appears on the Las Vegas band’s last full-length album “Play In The Mud” streaming and up for free download on Be Like Max’s bandcamp page.
The Brass Action is a great up and coming ska/rockabilly/punk band from Vancouver who have two solid EPs under their belts and a full-length currently in the works. Their sound is unique and “The Devil Down Below” is a great showcase of their ska-rockabilly style. It’s off their debut EP “Now THIS Is Happening” which is available for free download via their bandcamp, along with their follow-up EP “11:34: Hell O’Clock”.
If you haven’t heard already on June 11th Big D And The Kids Table will be releasing “Stomp” and “Stroll”, a double album that will feature the band’s punkier influences on one disc and their more mellow reggae/ska/stroll stuff on the other. Natually, “Social Muckery” is a song that will appear on the former and I couldn’t be happier to have this never-heard-before track included in our comp.
The Junk hail from Brighton, UK and have an undeniably punk worthy level of aggression to their music. “Rise And Shine” was the first song of theirs that I heard and it left such an impression on me I felt it was a must for inclusion in “Skaface”. The tune is from the band’s latest full-length “Problem. Reaction. Solution” which you can pick up on iTunes.
THE FIRST CHAIRS:
“Plastic & Prestige” is the debut EP from this Wisconsin ska act and it impressed me so much it made it on to my list of 10 best releases of 2012. The First Chairs‘ style is really unique, falling somewhere between ska, folk and punk. Sort of an angrier, more “punky” World Inferno Friendship Society. Maybe. Anyway, I really could have chosen any song from the EP to go on this comp because they’re all solid tracks but “It’s Okay” seemed to fit the best with the mix of songs we were getting from the other bands. You can stream and download “Plastic & Prestige” for free on the band’s bandcamp page.
These days I don’t think any country can top England for churning out quality ska-punk acts. Faintest Idea is a case in point. The band has put out two full-length albums since their inception and “House Of Cards” comes off their most recent; “Voice Of Treason”, which is available on the band’s webstore.
I’m pretty sure “Eat Your Breakfast,” the debut full-length from Tennessee ska-punk act Demon Waffle, is going to wind up on my top 10 albums of 2013 list (yeah, it came out in December 2012 but I didn’t hear it until 2013 and it’s close enough anyway). The band is less aggressive than there comp companions but they’re fun as hell and you’ll be hard pressed to find a ska album that is front to back as good as “Eat Your Breakfast” (you can stream and purchase it on Demon Waffle’s bandcamp page). “Too Slow”‘s gradual build and epic transitions made it a perfect choice for closing out “Skaface: Evolution.”
Add Big D and the Kids Table to My Radar