Search Results for "Ska"

Album review: Reel Big Fish “Life Sucks…Let’s Dance!”

 

Best known for ushering in the third wave of ska in the mid-90’s Reel Big Fish are back with their ninth full length studio album Life Sucks…Lets Dance!, their first since 2012’s aptly named Candy Coated Fury.

Reel Big Fish make their living taking serious lyrical content and covering it in a sugary-sweet wrapper and delivering it with upstroke guitars, bouncy brass work, and wonderful vocal harmonies. They have perfected the craft of making people dance to songs about depression, self-doubt, failed relationships, and the grind of everyday suckitude. Life Sucks…Lets Dance! continues this premise with fourteen ways to dance away life’s grind.

The album opens with the titular “Life Sucks…Let’s Dance” and it’s clear that this album is meant to be a distraction from reality. ‘They’re saying things are worse than they’ve ever been, looks like the bad guys are going to win, and nobody here is gettin’ out alive….maybe if we have some fun we won’t feel so bad’ Aaron sings over a happy sounding trumpet line. This dichotomy is also present in “You Can’t Have All of Me” where he laments about all the things in life that are vying for his time and how he does not have enough time for himself, presented alongside a sublime trombone solo.

There are several songs that have the classic Reel Big Fish vibe. There is the trumpet fanfare fueled and angry “Pissed Off”, the 80’s rock “Bleached Thang, Baby” that sounds like a song they forgot to put on Why Do They Rock So Hard?, and “Another Beer Song” which copies the themes from Turn the Radio Off’s “Beer” but with an opening chorus of ‘Whoas’ that sound lifted from the Misfits “American Psycho”.

Where Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! really seems to shine is in the second half. “Ska Show” and “The Good Old Days” are two covers from Forces of Evil which featured several members of the current Reel Big Fish lineup. These two put the ska in ska-punk and are highly danceable tunes. This is followed by “G.D. Beautiful Day” which may be my favorite track on the album, is a bright shiny happy middle finger to all ‘these assholes trying to ruin my life’. It’s an optimistic song that is almost out of place on a Reel Big Fish album. The album ends with “I’d Rather Get It Wrong” and the instrumental “Walter’s Highlife”. The first a toe tapping ska tune about being in love, even if it is not a perfect love. The latter being exactly the type of instrumental you would expect from someone wearing Hawaiian shirts all the time. It’s got infectiously sweet guitar work, bright beautiful horns, and a Caribbean samba vibe.

The one miss on this album is “Bob Marley’s Toe” which, when based on instrumentation alone, is an absolute banger of a reggae tune. But upon further review of lyrical content, it seems out of place. RBF have never shied away from joke songs but this one falls flat and the “I wish this song was longer/No you don’t” breaks the fourth wall a little too accurately.

Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! is not breaking new ground for Reel Big Fish, however it delivers one of their catchiest albums and some songs find them at the best they have ever been. It’s a very solid 4 out of 5 checkered pork pie hats.

4/5 Stars



Uncle Djuzeppe & The Mob Release New Single “Drama Queen” for Free Download

New York City multicultural ska punks Uncle Djuzeppe & The Mob have released a new single entitled “Drama Queen” on their Bandcamp. The track is slated to be followed by a music video in the coming months. For now though, you can download the track for free via Bandcamp.

“Drama Queen” is the first release by Uncle Djuzeppe & The Mob since their last EP “The Mob Rule” which came out in 2018. You can listen to “Drama Queen” below.



New Music: Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One – “All Are Welcome”

We’ve been waiting on this one for a good long time, but that wait is almost over!

Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One, the solo project of (The New) Darkbuster frontman and Street Dogs guitarist Lenny Lashley, has announced plans for a brand new full-length album. It’s called All Are Welcome, and it’s due out February 15th on Pirates Press Records. Pre-orders will be available soon; stay tuned.

To whet your appetite, the album’s title track is streaming right here now; it’s a pretty powerful tune if we’re being honest. Check it out. While you’re there, check out where you can catch the full rundown of Lashley’s upcoming shows, most of which find him providing support for Dropkick Murphys’ annual St. Patrick’s Day US tour.

Lenny Lashley’s debut Gang Of One album, Illuminator, was released back in 2013 on Panic State and Pirates Press.



Show Review: The Slackers celebrate the Holidays at Irving Plaza with War On Women and The Pandemics

The Slackers on stage at Irving Plaza. Text and photos by Kate Hoos

NYC Ska stalwarts The Slackers hit the stage a few days before Christmas for their annual holiday show at Irving Plaza in Manhattan where they were joined by fellow ska heads The Pandemics and feminist hardcore firebrands War On Women to make for a genre bending helluva good time holiday shindig!

Pics and review from the show below.



In case you missed it: Mad Caddies stream new song “I’m Going Surfing for Xmas”

It’s not January 1st yet so we reserve the right to continue publishing stories about punk Christmas songs that we were too busy to write earlier.

If you are in a part of the world where it’s cold outside, while hating the cold, Mad Caddies have a special song for you. Stream “I’m Going Surfing for Xmas” below for some much needed warmth.



Sweet Babylon (punk reggae ska) stream new music

Just in time for Christmas Fall River, MA’s Sweet Babylon have released two new albums. The first being a live version of their track “X-mas Truth”. The second is a five song cover album which features covers of the Ramones, Reel Big Fish, the Police, Suicide Machines, and a ridiculously good mash-up of Blondie’s “Tide is High” with Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar Were Going Down”.

Both albums are being offered for free as a Christmas gift. Is there a better present than free music?

Check out the streams below.



Mustard Plug announce West Coast tour

Ska warriors Mustard Plug continue to skank on. The band has announced a run of West Coast tour dates, including the 16th annual run of Midwestern holiday shows.

You can check out the full list of shows below.

Mustard Plug last released Can’t Contain It back in 2014, and continue to tour North America and beyond like a ska Santa that delivers tidings and good cheer all year round. 



The Donald Trumpets (Ska) streaming new single “Coping Mechanisms”

Australian ska outfit The Donald Trumpets are streaming their new single “Coping Mechanisms”. The new song comes off of the band’s upcoming EP, no name or release date has been announced for the new album.

Check out the new song below.

The forthcoming EP will be the first release from the upstart Aussie ska unit. If you’re a fan of The B-Sharps or Mustard Plug you will get a kick out of these guys.



The Mighty Mighty Bosstones announce support for annual Hometown Throwdown event

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have announced the supporting acts for their annual three night Hometown Throwdown event, at the House of Blues in Boston. Joining The Bosstones this year will be: The Aggrolites, Stray Bullets (December 28th), Bedouin Soundclash, Reggae Workers of the World (December 29th) and Color Killer (December 30th).

You can grab tickets for Hometown Throwdown here.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones released the album While We’re At It earlier this year, before embarking on a brief North American tour. Check out the video for the song “Mad Dash”, off the previously mentioned While We’re At It below



Something To Do (Ska) release video for “That Good Life”

Milwaukee ska-punks Something To Do have released a video for “That Good Life”, a track from their Design For Living album, which came out back in June.

You can have a watch below.



Hub City Stompers (ska-punk) release video for “Phantom”

New Jersey ska-punks Hub City Stompers have premiered a video with our pals at BlankTV for their song “Phantom”.  It’s a classic Hub City Stompers song where the good Reverend T Sinister laments the loss of friends to the prison system and the grave.

Check out the new video below.

Hub City Stompers recently released Haters Dozen earlier this year.



[spunge] release new single “Get Out”

UK ska punks [spunge] have released another new single, ‘Get Out’, which follows on from October’s release of “Liar“, through the bands own label, Dent’All Records. The singles are the band’s first new material since the 2014 LP Hold On.

Have a listen on Spotify – and check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below.



Beat The Smart Kids (ska-punk) stream new EP “Set Sail”

The Chicago based ska-punks of Beat The Smart Kids released their EP “Set Sail”. While we legally cannot endorse the beating of children, we do endorse this Less Than Jake-esque release which you can stream below.

The band doesn’t list any tour dates as of yet but check their Facebook page if you want to check them out!



The Brass Action releases split EP with Indications

Vancouver ska-punks The Brass Action are streaming their new split EP with fellow Vancouver band Indications.

The split is called Tall Boys, and you can give it a listen below.

Tall Boys was released on November 1st.



Grave Danger (“Goth Ska”, CA) Stream Debut EP “Let ‘Er Rip!”

Just in time for Halloween the spooky ska ensemble that is Grave Danger have released their debut EP. The effort is titled Let ‘Er Rip! and is a delightfully devilish take on a genre that’s usually synonymous with the cheerier things in life. Hilariously, the band refers to themselves as 666th wave ska and their lyrical content is perfect for the time of year being as it largely focuses on “skeletons, ghosts, and stuff”.

You can check out Let ‘Er Rip! below.