The Best of the Worst? You Decide

Is ska-core your thing?  Well it’s time to check out the latest EP from New Jersey’s The Best of the Worst.  Let’s give ‘Painted Fools a listen…


  1. “Habits Live Hard”-Straying from the typical ska punk sound, The Best of the Worst goes for more of a straight up aggressive rock with horns sound. I really dig the harmonizing backing vocals, but am less of a fan of the screaming.  All in all, this is a solid start.  Grade: B


  1. “In My Apartment”- More of a dark, ominous feel than the previous song, “In My Apartment” switches back from stereotypical ska sound, to more hardcore/death metal feel. At times, I felt as if these elements didn’t always meld together, but once again, a pretty decent song none the less.  Grade: B-


  1. “Where Complacency Lives”-The horn section really tears it up in this next number. Other than that, I dig the singing parts, but once again, the screaming is not my thing.  Grade: C


  1. “Spoiler Alert”-Constant switching of vocalists with a backdrop that sounds like a 70’s sitcom make for an enjoyable tune. Don’t get me wrong, this song still packs a major punch with crunchy punk guitars and deep guttural vocals.  Grade: B


  1. “It Doesn’t Really Matter”- Clocking in at only 1:23 minutes, this is the shortest track on the EP. Although the lyrics are scant, I really appreciated the attention paid here to the vocal quality.  A great emo with horns song that I wish could be a tad longer.  Grade: A-


  1. “Like Bugs in Amber”-I love, love, love the female vocals in this ditty. Big cheers to The Best of the Worst for taking this vocalist from the background and putting her up front and center.  The rest of the song, is concerned, everything fits well together in this great ska punk number.  Grade: A-


  1. “We’ve Been Help Captive”- Another song that seems to be all over the place. The regular singing parts and the screaming parts seem to be spliced together from two completely different songs.  Throw the instrumentation in there and you have musical mass confusion.  Grade: D


Let’s get this out of the way first.  It will come as no surprise that I am not a big fan of screaming in music.  I can tolerate a little if it is in the background or done sporadically (i.e. Dicky Barrett), but not when it is so in your face as it is on this record.   Also there were several times when these screaming parts felt totally disconnected from the rest of the song, like they didn’t belong.  That being said, there is a lot of great things here, for those of you who are in fact into a more aggressive slant to your ska.  I really appreciated the switching of vocalist; they all certainly each brought something different to the table.  My favorite is the female vocalist, who is great for backing, but exceptional as a lead.  I personally wish that the rest of the album sounded more like “It Doesn’t Really Matter” and “Like Bugs in Amber.”  Although there were a few bumps along the way, but I’m glad I gave this band a listen.  If you are in hardcore, give ‘Painted Fools’ a try!


Overall Grade: B-


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