PART I (What Do You Know About Ska Punk? Vol. 1)

If you have not heard yet, there is a new ska compilation that features 135 songs.  What Do You Know About Ska Punk? Vol.1 is an ambitious undertaking.  We know there is quantity; now let’s see if there is quality as well. [I have decided to break up this review into 10 song increments with a full album review at the end]

 

  1. Bolshy-“Ignorance is Strength”- What starts out as a “slow burner” transitions into a brass chaos, in this highly danceable tune. The lead singer, known only as Molly according to the band’s Facebook page is both powerful and easy on the ears.  Great song!  Grade: B+

 

  1. Backyard Superheroes-“Tangerine Drive”- The Backyard Superheroes deliver what you’d expect from a ska punk song; bratty vocals, killer horns and crunchy guitars. The excellent guitar solos made up for me not being totally in love with the vocals.  Grade: B

 

  1. Beng Beng Coctail-“Fucking Rudeboy”- This is bare-bones ska song, with only a drum, a bass and an acoustic guitar. I really like the work done here on the acoustic, giving this tune some Latin flavor.  The vocals fell flat with me-it’s like everyone in the band got stoned before they started singing.  Grade: C-

 

  1. High School Football Heroes-“Life’s Hard (No One Gets Out Alive)”-Being more of a fan of pop punk rather than straight up punk, I really dig HSFH’s sound. The horn section is blaring and in your face, and the vocals are not abrasive like their straight up punk brethren.  I can’t wait to hear more from these guys!  Grade: A-

 

  1. Tef London-“Still Standing”- A female-fronted ska outfit with a big-band sound. What’s not to love?  I would classify this as more rock with horns, rather than punk, but this is an entertaining song none the less.  Grade: B

 

  1. Chilled Monkey Brains-“Note to Self”-If you’ve never heard of Chilled Monkey Brains before, I strongly urge you to check out their latest album. While I am not a huge fan of screaming and I prefer the more melodic voice of the backing vocalist (vs. the lead vocalist in this tune), these guys are probably the most inventive band in the ska scene right now.  Blending ska and thrash metal, Chilled Monkey Brains are truly unique.  Grade: B+

 

  1. 1592-“Hooligans”- Lead by brothers Eric and Jeremy Abbey, 1592 is more of a traditional ska/rocksteady group. Without using punk elements, this band can still pack a punch with their gritty take on the genre.  “Hooligan’’ is an up-tempo instrumental that will instantly turn you into a fan.  Grade: A

 

  1. Behind Deadlines-“Laid Off”-Pop-meets –punk- meets- ska. After just reviewing this entire album, this is the ska-punk anthem of 2016.  Fantastic song; fantastic album, from start to finish.  I love this band!  Grade: A+

 

  1. Bumpin Uglies-”Urination Citation”-Bumpin Uglies play the best version of what I have dubbed as “stoner rock” I have ever heard. This ditty features the classic ska guitar riff with gruffer style vocals.  I really enjoy Bumpin Uglies, but to be honest this is not my favorite song of theirs.  Check out their other stuff!  Grade: B

 

  1. Flying Raccoon Suit-“Proud”- I normally enjoy bands that feature both male and female lead vocals, but this was a little subpar for me.  The male lead was annoying to say the least.  Nothing else about the rest of the song really stood out either.  It’s difficult to judge a band from one song, so I would love to hear more from Flying Raccoon Suit.   Grade: B-

So what did you think? Share it my friend!

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