Looking for “Something to Do?”

One of the longest running (and few remaining) ska bands from Wisconsin, Something to Do has recently released a new LP entitled ‘Not Making a Sound.’  Let’s check this bad boy out, shall we…

 

  1. “Not Making a Sound”- The title track dominates with a straight up rock n’roll (with horns) feel, which differs from the countless ska punk outfits out there. “Not Making a Sound” has an almost 80’s feel to me, much like if the Cars did a ska number (minus the synthesizer of course).  Great tune! Grade A-

 

  1. “Don’t Take That Shit From Anyone”- The song named after the mantra that everyone should repeat to themselves before going to work each day. This ditty is the complete package with excellent horns and backing vocals. -Grade: A

 

  1. “Tina Fey II”- While this song works really well live as a novelty song of sorts, do not be fooled. “Tina Fey II” packs a punch here as well.  Get off your butt; get off your feet, all while paying tribute to the greatest woman to grace the small screen (apparently).  Grade: B+

 

  1. “Done With You & Me”-The twangy guitar in this next track reminded me a lot of “Radiation Song” from the Aquabats. All in all this is a solid track, but it did not hold my attention like the previous ones.  Grade: B

 

  1. “Point of No Return”- Rocking harder than anything heard thus far, this is another great number. The horns are in the forefront, paired with the switching off of vocals.  Great stuff! Grade: A-

 

  1. “The Lemons in Lemonade”- I was wondering when third wave ska guitar was going to show up. This takes me back to the ska that I cut my teeth on back in 1997/1998.  I love it!  Grade: A

 

  1. “You Got Me Feelin’ Emo, Knock it Off”- Something To Do, pulls out all the stops in this next ditty. It is difficult to create a hard-hitting song without going to the punk side of things, but they pull it off.  The horn section steals the show in this one.   Grade: A

 

  1. “Tina Fey III”- Life is not complete with just one song about Tina Fey. I’m diggin’ this “college radio” with horns tune.  Put your arm around your honey and hold your lighters high (does anyone still do that?)  Don’t miss the killer guitar solo.  Grade: A-

 

  1. “No No (No No)”- Nate’s falsetto and the background hand clapping give “No No (No No)” a definite pop feel. I have a feeling this one is going to grow on me.  Grade: B+

 

  1. “I Don’t Like You”- This song is alright; definitely not one of my favorites, but no dud by any stretch. Grade: B

 

  1. “Do Not Have All the Fun”- Punk rock! I’ve heard a ton of songs like this over the years, but here it is new and exciting again.    Grade: A-

 

  1. “Let it Rain on You (But Not On Me)”- A slower song that I just don’t dig as much as the others. Grade: B

 

 

I’ve always imagined that if you lived in Hawaii, you probably don’t appreciate how truly awesome it is until you’ve been somewhere else.  This is how I feel about Something to Do.  Although I have been a long time ska fan, I never paid much attention to the band that is so close geographically.  It wasn’t until I got to see these dudes live (headlining at UWSP and opening for The English Beat in Madison) that put these guys on my radar. This band is high energy and has perfected their signature sound.  Although they are certainly a ska band (which is a very broad genre, I know), their sound is more complex. The guitar work is reminiscent of 90’s alternative, but nothing too hard; much in the vain of early REM.  There is even at times a touch of 80’s splashed throughout as well.  As mentioned earlier, ‘Not Making a Sound’ does not have an overly punky feel which is refreshing.  Once more, the use of pop references (I’m talking to you Tina) as well as the overall “poppy” feel makes this album enjoyable to all audiences, not just us hardcore ska-fans.  Their last album ‘Music For Fine Dining’ is excellent, and this one is right up there as well.  Each song here is enjoyable, showing great variety within the genre. This is a must have for long-time followers of the band, but as mentioned will be exciting for those that currently listen to straight up rock.  So if you’re looking for “something to do” downloading ‘Not Making a Sound’ is a mere few clicks away!

 

Overall Grade: B+/A-

 

 

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