Who knew there was a town in Pennsylvania named California? Well did you also know that California PA is the home to the 7- piece ska outfit Soulios? Formed just last year, this band has already dropped an EP entitled ‘Jamisun.’ Let’s check it out…
- “Hoser Love”- Not to be confused with ‘Hoosier Love’ from MU330,Soulios starts things off with an extremely upbeat, danceable number. Smooth vocals pair nicely with the heavy brass presence. Grade: B+
- “Build It Up”- Another horn driven number with more of Latin and funk presence than a ska feeling. Excellent solos cap things off near the end. I love this song! Grade: A
- “Pop Punk & Metalcore (feat. Shane Turner)”- Pop Punk & Metalcore will have you clapping along and tapping your feet. It is impossible to get this perfect sing-along song out of your head, which laments the struggles of being in a band. Fun little ditty! Grade: A-
- “Poor Man’s Reality”- Mixing ska with smooth grooves, what a great way to end this mini album. Grade B+
Yet another “unknown to me band” has made it to my review list and I am glad I had a chance to give this one a listen. Not to sound like a broken record (for those that have read my other reviews) but in general I am a big fan of reviewing EPs. They give the listener a chance to find out what the band is all about over the course of a few tracks. Most bands bring their best stuff with no filler material that sometimes finds their way to full lengths. ‘Jamisun’ from Soulios is no exception. With only 4 tracks, Soulios does an excellent job at showcasing their unique sound, making each song sound different than the one before. While the traditional ska guitar is not a main player, the horn section is the driving force behind this band. This barrage of brass gets you on your feet during every tune. Other standouts for me were the incorporation of other genres, such as Latin and funk as well as the use of additional percussion. It is great when bands bring new ideas to the table to put their own spin on the ska sound. Rounding things off are the smooth vocals which mesh well with the instrumentation, creating a cohesive package. While Soulios certainly has their own sound, if I had to compare, I heard glimpses of ‘Regatta 69’ and older ‘Something to Do.’ Nice work!
Overall Grade: A-
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