Part II-‘What Do You Know About Ska Punk?-Vol. 1’

11. The Main Street Sweep-“Dear Karen”- The Main Street Sweep is a rock band with some ska elements, as highlighted by this fun little ditty. The saxophone really wails, in this ode to 50’s style.  Good times.  Grade: B

12. Malarky-“Rizla”- The lone saxophone is a standout, but in general, this song is redundant and just plain wacky. There are at least three vocals going on at one point, none of which I enjoyed.  There is also a weird transition point at the 2:00 minute mark.  Grade: D

13.  Stacked Like Pancakes-“Renegade”- Stacked Like Pancakes is one the hottest bands on the scene today and have been touring with Reel Big Fish. With their soft-spoken vocals and catchy song-writing, I really enjoy this band.  Although “Renegade” is one of the best songs on their latest album, the entire album is great.  Go check it out…now!  Grade: A

14.  Bone Daddies-“Sinister City”-What do the Bone Daddies sound like? Well they sound like one part The Insyderz and one part 80’s hair-metal.  These guys rock hard, but I think their overall sound could be polished just a tad.  Grade: C

15.  Goldstein-“Stealing Glances”- British-boy rap meets ska in “Stealing Glances.” Vocally, the singer is rather monotone in this mostly, stripped-down song. This “just okay” number grows tiresome and almost a chore to make it through towards the end.   B-

16.  Beat the Smart Kids-“Brain Pollution”- I really enjoy the lone saxophone and the low roar of the organ of this typical ska punk number and the use of “pick it up” took me back to the late 90’s. Although the gruffer style lyrics are what you’d expect in this genre, they are not my favorite here.  All in all a pretty solid tune.  If you dig these guys, check out the similar sounding ‘4 Aspirin Morning’ from Wisconsin.  Grade: B

17. Jake and The Jellyfish-“Coffee Tally”- Not to sound like a broken record, but a lot of why I like a band hinges on whether I enjoy the lead vocalist’s voice. While I’m certainly not in love with the vocals, there is something unique here that makes this song oddly intoxicating.  The horn section really let it rip in this garage rock/ska mashup.  Grade: B

18.  Lucky Luxury-“Camp For the Night”-I wish I would have heard of this band sooner. So far this is one of my favorite tracks on this album (I know I have a long way to go).  Some of the smoothest traditional ska I’ve heard with great backing vocals and organ.  Boo-yah!  (If you like this band , check out The Duppies).   Grade A

19.  The Dirty Notion-“Someday”- Sounding as tough as their hometown of Detroit, The Dirty Notion’s “rough around the edges” style is a homage to skinhead reggae, according to the band. I agree 100% with this assessment.  Although this is probably my least favorite sub-genre of ska, The Dirty Notion does it well.  Grade: B-

20.  Madaline-“I Don’t Have Friends with 1-800 Numbers”- I love, love, love bands that have both a female and male singer sharing responsibilities. I did not appreciate the male lead in this song, as much asthe gal, however their overall sound prompted me to check out their other tunes.  “I Don’t Have Friends with 1-800 Numbers,” is a solid song but I enjoy most of their other tunes much more.  This band rocks!  Grade: B


  1. No Cops For Miles-“It Doesn’t Matter (Feat.The Worst & The Stupid Stupid Henchmen)”- The screaming is awful.  The vocals and the instrumentation seem to be going in completely opposite directions.  Also it sounds as if this was recorded in a garage.  Grade: F


  1. Part One Tribe-“Selena”- Part One Tribe, helmed by ROB-D brings it with their reggae rock style.  The vocals seem to be coming out of a much older gentlemen, which adds some much appreciated depth to their sound.  Why have I never heard of this band before? Grade: A-


  1. Stupid Flanders-“Infectious”- Acoustic guitars rarely work for me, when it comes to incorporating it into the genre.  They quickly switch to more familiear territory with the typical thirdwave guitar riff and blaring horns.  Fun song!  Grade: B


  1. The Great Asian Psycopath-“Politricks”- These guys are a 2-piece punk outfit (with a virtual drummer!) addling just a sprinkle of ska to the mix.  There was really nothing here that really stood out for me about this song.  Grade: C


  1. The Hempsteadys-“Charlie Dynamite”- Starting out with a bit of a disco flare, the instrumentation hear is top-notch.  Once again, not being in love with the vocals, I downgrade only based upon that.  Grade: B


  1. Navarro & The Traitors-“Youth Not Wasted”- While I like the unique vocals of Eric Abbey, this song was just ok with me. There seems to be a lot going on in this gritty tune, and I’m not sure they all flow together.  Grade: C


So what did you think? Share it my friend!

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