Articles for the Month of May 2017

Part VI-What Do You Know About Ska Punk? Vol. 1

51. Empatee du Weiss-“Shut Up!”- I will definitely check these guys out.  Think big-band ska with a female lead.  Swanky with a circus feel near the end!  Grade: B+

52. Crash the Owl Party-“Steel Beams”- Taking inspiration from 90’s alternative rock, these dudes added a horn section and boom! There are no easy comparisons here, but if you like your ska on the harder side, than this band is for you.  Grade: B+

53. Atterkop-“Safer Spaces”- If you couldn’t tell already I am not a huge fan of hardcore. Although there are horns and ska guitar mixed in, the hardcore vocals just ruin it for me.  Grade: D

54. SiBANNAC-“Offbeat”- This is a typical example of a punk band that uses the classic ska guitar riff. There is some variety as this guitar part constantly changes tempo throughout, but all in all this song was not my favorite.    Grade: C-

55. Unicorn Injection-“Drunk Nurse”- The self-proclaimed ‘pop-punk band with a ska flare’ has entertained me over the course of nearly three minutes in “Drunk Nurse.”  The instrumentation here could use a little polishing however the vocals (by Miss Karen Roberts) are powerfully intoxicating.  Good stuff.  Grade: B+

56. One Man Down- “This is Growing Up”- Enjoyable ska punk with a pop flare. I dig the vocal harmonies and the blaring horns.  Grade: B+

57. Be Like Max-“Yeah, So What”-When this song first kicked off, I wasn’t sure if I really liked the vocals, but as the song raged on, they grew on me. Great punk guitar and excellent horns make this one a winner.  Grade: A-

58. ZEME LIBRE-“Jungle Master”- Hmmm. Well, I’m not sure if this is ska or reggae or what this really is.  I guess it is jungle music.  Whatever it is, I dig it.  Grade: A-

59. Los Duenos-“Passione”-Although my Spanish is a bit rusty, I did enjoy parts of this Hispanic ditty, mainly the guitar part and the horns. The vocals were a bit aggressive at times and I’m not sure of the record scratching helped or hurt this song.  Grade: B-

60. Half Past Two-“Not Enough”- Tara Hahn and crew slay it in this song, as they do on every song on every album. From Tara’s sweet vocals to their poppier nature, this band has the potential to break through to more mainstream outlets.  This is one of my favorite ska/punk bands of the moment.  Do yourself a solid and listen to their other stuff.  Grade: A


Check it out:



Monty and The Bishops!

Monty Neysmith of Symarip is at it again.  After recording several songs with The Soul Radics and The Bishops, Monty and The Bishops team up once again for this latest single.  Check it out…

  1. Skin Flint- I promise you will be hypnotized by the low roar on the organ in this sweet rocksteady tune.  The horns here are scant, but definitely make an impact.  A fantastic instrumental!  Grade: A-


  1. Fung Shu-Ska with an oriental twist. One of the more interesting songs I’ve ever reviewed, I really enjoyed how Monty “toasted” on top of the normal singing parts.  Old School Cool!  Grade: B+



Although singles certainly whet your appetite for new tunes, they have always been a tease for me, leaving me hungry for more.  The latest release from Monty and The Bishops is no exception. I really enjoyed these two new renditions of classic Symarip songs.  Although his voice is strained somewhat from age, Monty can still lay down some pretty entertaining vocals.  The Bishops are always great, whether they are backing up this seasoned pro, or when performing by themselves.  I would consider the Bishops a ‘live band’ as the performances that I’ve seen pack more of a punch than their recorded tunes.  That being stated, this single is crisp and has excellent sound quality.  Both songs, but more so with “Fung Shu” make you feel like you are in the audience singing and skanking along.  Be sure to check out Monty and The Bishops during several shows they will be playing together over the next few months.  Maybe this will lead to a full length album.  We can only hope.


Overall Grade: A-

Check it out:

New singles! MONTY NEYSMITH of SYMARIP with THE BISHOPS “Skin Flint” b/w “Fung Shu” 7″ and AKASHA “You Make Me Feel Good” b/w “Eye For An Eye” 7″




So what did you think? Share it my friend!

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