It has been a while since we have heard from Boston’s ‘The New Limits.’ This band has unleashed a follow up to their 2015 release with a self-titled LP. Let’s take this one for a test drive…
- “Loss For Words”- The New Limits kick things off with a traditional number, featuring one heck of a saxophone solo. This is the style of ska I was raised on, not really punky, yet more upbeat than most of the traditional stuff out there. A great dancin’ song. Grade: B+
- “Transition”-Another up-tempo ska ditty that will get your feet moving. The lead vocals were a little monotone for me; however I real dug the backing vocals on this one. The sax gets his time to shine again as well. Grade: B+
- “New Way”-Time to slow things down a bit in this next number. What this song lacks in tempo, it more than makes up in horn power. Skank on! Grade: B+
- “Up In the Air”-Even though I think this is the same vocalist as the previous songs, the quality here seems to be kicked up a notch. This one is also a tad on the slower side with almost a “smoke filled lounge” sort of feel. Reminds me of some of the tunes from the Bishops. Great tune. Grade: A-
- “Stir the Pot”- The New Limits stick to their ska roots while incorporating a dose of funk. Get your groove on with this song as it’s probably the most edgy thus far. Grade: A-
- “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”- I really dig the horn solos near the end of this tune, but overall, this one drags on a bit with me. With so many other fine songs on this album thus far, it is hard to stand out in the crowd. A solid tune nonetheless, just not one of my favs. Grade: B
- “Champion (Underdog)”- If ever there was a ska anthem for the self doubters, this would be it. Having more of a reggae feel, this great song features more of a gritty guitar and a melodica. Although it is short in length, it definitely packs a major punch to the ear drums. Grade: A-
- “I’ll Never Listen”- “I’ll Never Listen” embodies the traditional ska vibe with an old-timey 50’s feel. Lace up your saddle shoes and head on down to the sock hop. Think The Skatalites meets Pleasantville. Big thumbs up! Grade: A
- “Fuego”-Each member of the band, gets his turn in the spotlight in this blazing instrumental that has a slight Latin big band feel. Great stuff. Grade: A
- “Part of Me”-More melodica magic can be heard in the slower paced “Part of Me.” Although Matty C is singing out of range in some parts, this is still a great, great song. Grade: A-
- “Priceless”-The New Limits save one of their bests for lasts. Lyrically, this is just a fun ditty that will keep you skankin’ long after the song is done. Grade: A-
The year was 1996 when I attended my first ska show. Max and the Invaders (known then as simply The Invaders) packed the smoky coffee and played for what seemed like hours. I was hooked on ska and the rest is history. Now I appreciate all variations of this great genre, but it was The Invaders that introduced me to the danceable, up-tempo version that I still love today. As mentioned above, The New Limits do an excellent job of playing track after track of this skank worthy type of ska. This being noted, every song is not a carbon copy of the one before, but rather is a new musical experience, accomplished through varied tempos and a smattering of other genres. There are many bands out there with accomplished horn sections, but featuring solos seems to be oftentimes overlooked. The New Limits take extra care to let each of the horn players show their stuff, so to speak. Vocally speaking, Matty C doesn’t have my favorite voice in the biz; it is certainly not off-putting either. That being said, you can see from the grades above, this fact did not affect my grading much at all. This is a great album that belongs in your collection. If you are a fan of The Green Room Rockers, Dropsteady, The Dropsteppers or even Rude King, then give The New Limits a listen!
Overall Grade: A-
Check them out!