Search Results for "Ska"

The Hempsteadys announce weekend tour

The Hempsteadys will embark on a weekend tour in support of their sophomore album, Séance! Séance!, and their brand new cover/single of “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” by The Pogues.

A 10 piece band from Connecticut, The Hempsteadys feature influences ranging from ska, rock & roll, and punk. Known for their infectious beats, roaring gang vocals, and ripping solos, their live shows will be sure to get you moving.

Check out the tour dates and the new song below.



DS Photo Gallery: The Interrupters christen Boston’s newest venue, Big Night Live, with Skinny Lister and Sharp/Shock

The Interrupters brought the tail end of their headline tour in support of their most recent album, Fight The Good Fight, through Boston early last week. It was landmark night for a few reasons, not the least of which was brought on by the constant upward trajectory of the headline act over the better part of the last half-decade. You see, the festivities took place at a venue called Big Night Live. When the show was initially announced, legions of local fans immediately took to the comment sections of their social media page of choice to ask the same question: “What the hell is Big Night Live?” The answer, as it turns out, is a brand-spankin-new 1500-capacity venue located immediately in front of the TD Garden (home of the Bruins and Celtics) in what was, until very, very recently, the players’ parking lot (and, if you rewind the tape far enough, the still-not-100%-completed building that is home to Big Night Live occupies roughly the same footprint as the old, legendary Boston Garden).

A quick scroll through the upcoming calendar for Big Night Live reveals a lineup that includes the likes of Rick Ross and Lil Jon and Black Starr and something called Lil Dicky, but for this night, the doors opened to BNE’s first rock concert in the form of the four-piece (five if you include touring multi-instrumentalist Billy Kottage) first family of California ska/punk. The venue is longer than it is wide and, while it’s all one level, is tiered several times from the front to the back, meaning there aren’t many bad sight-lines in the middle third of the floor. Due to a handful of behemoth support girders, however, the same can’t be said for the far left and right wings. Still, everything was new and sparkling clean (oh, and the bathroom had one of those dudes that hands you a paper towel, which is a weird thing at a punk rock show), and the light show was a non-stop assault on the senses, perhaps better suited for the band’s 2020 run of stadium shows supporting Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer.

From a sound perspective, this may far and away been the best I’ve heard The Interrupters sound over the course of the half-dozen shows I’ve taken in over the last few years. There’s a reason the band’s trajectory has continued in a seemingly unstoppable upward direction. Their energy and positivity are infectious, with every song, whether it be their own anthems like “By My Side” or “A Friend Like Me” or “She’s Kerosene” or their scalding-hot covers of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” or Berlin’s “The Metro” becoming a sing-along dance party of its very own. Brothers Kevin (guitar) and Justin (bass) Bivona somehow manage to find the time to contribute backing vocals in spite of non-stop trading sides of the stage. The force of nature that is frontwoman Aimee Interrupter spent probably as much time at the barricade and leaning into the crowd (and, at one point, circumnavigating the entire cavernous venue, gold-covered wireless mic in tow) as she did singing and dancing from stage, her voice sounding as strong and crystal-clear as ever. Jesse Bivona even took a couple minutes to blaze through a part-tribal groove, part-Neil Peart drum solo, the likes of which are few and far between at a punk show. As it turns out, maybe The Interrupters were the perfect band to break in what will, in all likelihood, be more of a dance club than a rock hall.

Support on this run came from everyone’s favorite English sea shanty singalongers, Skinny Lister. The six-piece are another band that’ve been on a slow, steady upward path over the past half-dozen-or-so years on this side of the Atlantic. Much like The Interrupters, Skinny Lister are a constant ball of collective family energy centered around a dynamic frontwoman, Lorna Thomas. And while there might not be a flagon full of rum shared amongst the band’s members this time out – Thomas and her husband, lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Heptinstall are expecting in the new year! – there’s still more than enough good-time energy to go around. The packed house in attendance were willing participants in the start-to-finish singalong festivities.

Kicking things off on this run – and so technically the first band to officially play Big Night Live (Steve Aoki technically kicked things off the night before but that’s different) were Sharp/Shock. The LA-by-way-of-UK – or is it UK-by-way-of-LA, I always forget how that works – trio are tight and punch and melodic as hell. To my knowledge, it was their first Boston-area show, and a solid number of people showed up early enough to take in their crisp melodies, even singing along to tracks like “I Don’t Want To Be A Millionaire” and “Troublemaker.” As I’ve mentioned before, Boston can be a little fickle when it comes to newcomers and to punk rock bands of a certain style, so this was a super welcome sight!

Check out our full photo gallery below! As I mentioned above, it was mostly fog machines and swirling, strobe lights, making a tough row to hoe for a rank amateur like yours truly. Still…enjoy!



Stream Big D And The Kids Table covers album “Strictly Covered”

This is the kind of covers album I can get behind. Some of my absolute favorite punk anthems (Rancid’s “Old Friend,”, Propagahndhi’s “Ska Sucks,” Operation Ivy’s “Freeze Up”) are given a unique twist by one of the ska scene’s most recognized bands – Big D And The Kids Table. Singer David McWane explains how it came about:

“This was a super fun album for us to do. Before writing a new Big D LP, we always like to write an EP first, so that we can get some ideas out, hang, chat and have fun. Instead of doing this cycles EP we did a full covers record. After showing Dickey Barrett of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones our cover of their tune Dr. D, he invited us to play the entire album at this years Throwdown. We recorded it in the center of Allston with Benny Grotto and had it mastered by Jeff Lipton in Watertown MA. J from The Suicide Machines joined us on an Op-Ivy cover, because we had so much fun playing it love in Chicago while playing w/ Goldfinger. There are two other amazing Boston artists on the LP – Morphine & Sam Black Church two of my personal all time favorite bands.”

Give the entire thing a listen below!



The Bruce Lee Band (ska) streams “If I Could Only Listen to My Heart” off new album

California punk legend Mike Park has rallied the troops and released new material from The Bruce Lee Band. Rental!!! Eviction!!! was released October 22nd on Asian Man Records and features seven new tracks.

Check out the new track below.

The Bruce Lee Band last released Everything Will Be Alright. My Friend back in 2014. If you’re a fan of The Planet Smashers or Mustard Plug you will love The Bruce Lee Band.



Introducing Experimental Ska Act: Flying Raccoon Suit

Ska as a genre has seen many iterations, from the first wave of Jamican ska bands in the 1960’s, to the English Two-Tone movement of the late 1970’s to the Third Wave in the 1990’s. Since then there have been a lot of successful bands who have put their own spin on these classic sounds. Which brings us to Mississippi’s Flying Raccoon Suit who take a mix of Jazz, Metal, Indie Rock, and Progressive Rock and stir in a frenzied punk ethos to create their own unique interpretation of the already diverse genre.

As evident on this year’s Static Home EP, a two tracked single, they are not afraid to experiment with their sound. With this single we are presented with two widely varied sounds, the first being the titular “Static Home” which gives the impression of a smokey Jazz club performance but with a rock edge. It gives the guitars and drums a little more weight which is counterbalanced with a silky smooth horn section. This allows Jessica’s vocals the chance to be more refined, but not without completely abandoning her punk side. This is followed by “Nothing’s Changed” which give us the large full horn section and upstroked guitars we would expect from classic third wave ska punk. However there is a frenetic time change instrumental breakdown in the latter half of the song that makes this song stand out and will keep the listener intensely engaged. Don’t simply take my word for it, check out the stream here.



Victims of Circumstance announce new album, “Five”

Good news for fans of Florida five-piece punk band Victims Of Circumstance…2020 will bring new music!

The band announced plans for a new album, which’ll be their fifth full-length. The appropriately titled Five is due for release on January 17th via Financial Records. According to the band, it marks a bit of a maturation from their ska-punk roots. “Our sound has evolved over the years and we’re drifting more into becoming a band that just plays kickass music with ska elements,” adds saxophonist Jay Atheney. “This new album definitely sounds like us, but we didn’t set out to ‘make a ska album’ and I think that shows.”

Stay tuned for more on this one in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the band have scheduled an album release show on November 9th at The Attic in Ybor City. Head here for details!



Omnigone (ska-core) share video for Quentel the Cryptid cover “If You Lived Here”

Omnigone, the brand new East Bay ska-core project from Adam Davis of Link 80, just dropped a music video for their cover of “If You Lived Here” by San Francisco’s Quentel the Cryptid. The video features some of Quentel’s trademark masked characters wandering the sites of an unidentified city, backed by the energetic ska that Omnigone is quickly becoming known for. Just in time for Halloween, this is the first follow-up to No Faith (the band’s debut album on West Coast ska-punk label Bad Time Records) and their second release ever.

Check out the video for yourself below.



Stream a ska version of Graduating Life’s “Cold Raviolis”

If you’re online in the year 2019 and have even the slightest clue what the genre “ska” entails, then you’ve probably seen a video from Skatune Network, even if you didn’t realize what it was you were watching. The incredibly unique project of Florida musician Jeremy Hunter (they/them) started with a YouTube channel and a single mission––to bring back ska, one cover song at a time.

Today, that channel boasts over a million views, with over 100,000 subscribers and nearly twice as many combined followers across other social media platforms. Formed in 2017, Skatune Network has turned everything from 80s pop ballads to emo anthems, R&B jams, and even songs from popular movies and TV shows into bonafide ska hits, and the brass mastermind has no plans on slowing down.

Teaming up with rising indie label Counter Intuitive Records, Skatune Network will release their debut album Pick It The Fuck Up on September 27. Each song on the album will be a cover of a Counter Intuitive-adjacent band, including oso oso, Prince Daddy & the Hyena, Retirement Party, Kississippi, and more.

Today a video is out for the first new track, a cover of Graduating Life’s “Cold Raviolis.” Watch it below.



Album Review: The Planet Smashers “Too Much Information”

Earlier this year Canadian ska punks The Planet Smashers released their ninth studio album Too Much Information, which also corresponds with their twenty-fifth anniversary as a band. This album finds them continuing to expand upon their signature mix of upbeat two tone ska and punk.

The album abruptly starts with the titular “Too Much Information” as a bouncing horn line greets you without a proper introduction. In a song about the potential for oversharing via social media it is nice to get a sound that was massively popular before the advent of said media platforms. It drops an early English Beat meets the Police vibe that is ridiculously catchy. This sound is further explored with “Aim High” and “Going Out Solo” a couple of songs later.

“Break My Neck (A Love Song)” follows with what is arguably the best song on the album. In 2016 lead singer Matt Collyer fractured his cervical spine, he then used this to poetically pen a love song. “I may break my neck, but I will never break your heart” he croons in a way that is more intrinsically emotional than the rest of the album. The honesty on display is highly personal and it is obvious that this song is more than just another love song. Throughout the album the organ is featured, but not more perfectly than on this number. It is a bouncier sound that lends a little brevity to the heaviness of the lyrics.

The Planet Smashers still deliver on their classic high energy fun music with songs like “Brain Freeze” the product of being betrayed by a delicious treat, “Superfan” which is an ode to fans of ska still waiting for their fourth wave, and “Hookie” a banger about skipping work and having fun. This time the more playful “Light in Your Smile” cranks up the reggae side, and features some phenomenal drum work. However they do experiment and explore their craft a little with songs like “Good Vibes” and “Light in Your Smile”. The first being a clapping and drum heavy march that stands out on the album for how different it feels. However it seems like it would be a fan favorite in a live setting as it has the ability to draw the crowd into the production. Where “Light in Your Smile” is a playful reggae love song which again puts the drums at the forefront but this time with a margarita on the beach feel.

Too Much Information is a super clean sounding album, the horns are big and bright, the bass and drums sound deep and resonant, and the highlight is the organ which add a layer that really make these songs stand out. Combine this with lyrics that are humorous at times, and emotional at others and you get an album that moves both your heart and your feet.

4.5/5 Stars



Watch The Interrupters perform Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”

Hellcat Records has shared a video of The Interrupters‘ live studio recording of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. The band have been performing the track as part of their live sets recently and took time to video themselves performing at Ship-Rec Studios in LA.

Have a watch below.



Omnigone (ex-Link 80) release debut album “No Faith”

Omnigone, the brand new East Bay ska-punk outfit started by Adam Davis of Link 80 and featuring members of We Are The Union, Rx Bandits, Ogikubo Station, and Skatune Network, just dropped their long-anticipated debut album No Faith via Bad Time Records. The thirteen-track release is an evolutionary chart of all of the best parts of ska music we’ve seen grow and change over the past four decades that really showcases Davis’ skill as a musician and songwriter as well as his unflinching love for the genre. No Faith is written from the perspective of someone who has been making and playing punk music for more than twenty years, so there are a lot of complicated emotions tied up in these songs, but at the end of the day Omnigone’s central themes are rooted in positivity and gratitude. Is it the ska record we deserve in 2019? Maybe not, but it’s the one we need right now.

No Faith is out now on all streaming platforms but you can still stream the full album over at Pure Grain Audio if that’s more your speed, or snag a vinyl variant through Bad Time Records.



Omnigone (Ex-Link 80) releases video for “Rewrite History”

Ska upstarts Omnigone have released a video for their song “Rewrite History”. The song comes off the band’s upcoming album No Faith, which will hit the air waves September 13th and be released through Bad Time Records. The more I hear from Omnigone the more excited I get for this release, so it should be no surprise that I thoroughly enjoy the new tune and video.

Check out the new video below.

No Faith will be the début album for Omnigone. If you’re a fan of Link 80 you will probably enjoy these guys (yeah, I know the dudes from Link 80!).



Omnigone (ex-Link 80) stream new song “Rather Be Alone”

Omnigone, the new band formed by Adam Davis of Link 80, are streaming their new song “Rather Be Alone.”  You can check it out here.

“Rather Be Alone” comes from the bands’ upcoming debut album, No Faith, which is set to be released on September 13th via Bad Time Records.



The Aquabats announce November tour dats

Orange County ska legends The Aquabats have announced some November tour dates.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

The Aquabats recently released Aquabats! Super Show! Soundtrack Vol. 1 on June 7th.



The Holophonics (Ska, TX) Stream Covers Album “MaSKArades Vol. 13: Yeah, But Also Check Out Our Original Music”

Texas-based ska-punk-six-piece The Holophonics have just put out a massive collection of popular covers. Titled MaSKArades Vol. 13: Yeah, But Also Check Out Our Original Music, listeners can expect horn-driven renditions of tunes originally by Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park, Rage Against The Machine, Sum 41, and a load more, spanning various musical genres.

Check out MaSKArades Vol. 13: Yeah, But Also Check Out Our Original Music below. The previous example of some of The Holophonics’ original music was the 2018 full-length, Phantom Arrival.