If ska-punk is your thing than look no further than Behind Deadlines. This 5-piece out of Philadelphia has released a brand new EP entitled ‘Before Summer Ends.’ Let’s get right to the tunes…
- “Unfalling Apart”- Catchy pop-punk-ska never gets old in this fresh take on the genre. Pleasant vocals and well placed horn parts get this EP started on the right foot! Grade: B+
- “Break Me Down”- Although short in length, this song still packs a punch. Not too heavy on the punk element, this little ditty is sure to appeal to the masses! Grade: A-
- “Office Party”- Starting out a little harder than the previous tunes, the tone quickly switches to familiar territory. I felt that the horns could have been a little louder as they were somewhat difficult to hear over the guitar at times. But overall, this is a great tune with great vocal harmonies thrown in for good measure. Grade: B+
- “Rebellion Island”- Behind Deadlines saves their best effort for last in this ska party song. Don’t stop skankin’! Grade: A
While short in length, ‘Before Summer Ends’ is certainly not small in stature. In a subgenre (skapunk) that lends itself to all bands sounding the same, Behind Deadlines stays on top by incorporating more of a pop sound then most. In the heyday of pop-punk, bands like Bowling for Soup, Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy ruled the day. Behind Deadlines have ratcheted up this sound with the addition of ska guitar and a killer horn section. Do I feel that they deserve the same radio airplay as these aforementioned bands? You bet. Their overall sound will appeal to the both non ska and ska fans alike. While 4 songs are certainly not enough to quench your thirst, it will certainly give you a taste of what this band is all about. Great stuff and kudos to Behind Deadlines!
Overall Grade: A-
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Representing Annapolis, MD is the one and only Bumpin’ Uglies. This 3-piece plays a blend of reggae, ska and punk and bring their stylings to the new EP entitled ‘Sublime with No One.” Let’s get rockin’…
- “Warning”- The opening track borrows elements of both ska and rock with slightly more emphasis being placed on the latter. Excellent vocals carry this catchy tune. Musically speaking, it reminds me a lot of “Me, Myself and I” from Culture Cry Wolf (sans the trumpet and rapping vocals). A great start! Grade: A
- “Social Ladders”- Classic third-wave guitars, pair nicely with the more laid-back vocals (and backing vocals) in “Social Ladder.” I’m diggin’ this slow groove of a song. Grade: A
- “Nostalgia”- Overall, “Nostalgia” has a darker feel than the previous tunes on this album. Awesome guitars and just the right amount of dub make this s song a winner. Grade: A
- “Maturity”- this was the only song where I thought that the missing ingredient was a strong horn presence. As soon as this thought popped into my head, the brass came onto the scene. Overall this tune blends stereotypical ska sounds with alternative rock of the 90’s. Grade: B+
- “Fuck It”- Based on the title alone, I was half expecting a change in directions with a straight up punk number. True to form, the Bumpin Uglies lay down more of the reggae-laced vibes they are known for. Another solid tune. Grade: A
Although ‘Sublime With No One’ follows a string of releases dating back to 2011, I must admit this is my first exposure to this great band. I mostly prefer bands with full horn sections and an organ, so how could a measly trio stack up? After the first track I was instantly hooked. The Bumpin Uglies make quite an impression over the course of only 16 minutes. While there are only 5 tracks, the listener gets a definite feel for what this band is all about. Each song has a distinct sound from the one before it, yet does not venture far away from the overall the sound that is band seems to have pretty well dialed in. Musically speaking this is a cohesive unit that sounds better than a lot of bands twice its size. In the sea of countless ska-punk, reggae-rock and just straight up “chlll-reggae” bands, the Bumpin Uglies rise to the top with ‘Sublime With No One.’ What makes this such an exceptional album is just how polished each song is, not to mention the strong vocals by Brandon Hardesty. The vocalist alone can sometimes determine whether I love a band or hate a band. Brandon has great range vocally and has certainly perfected his craft. I really can’t say enough positive things about this album, only that I am thirsty for more. So get bumpin’ and check out ‘Sublime with No One from the Bumpin Uglies!
Overall Grade: A
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