For those who been sleepin’. Jer (best known as Skatune Network dropped their full length recently. To start with it’s outright fucking amazing and Jer in person is even more awesome than we imagine from YouTube. The album opens with Bothered, a classic sounding ska punk track about shit we should be bothered to sleeplessness by. The next track You Got Yr ***** Card Revoked deals with issues of identity and the fact that we’re all valid no matter what. Gonna skip ahead to Decolonize Yr Mind which is my fucking song of the year! This is a mind blowing mix of ska meets Tribe Called Quest and the lyrical mind of Dead Prez. I totally lost my shit when they played it at the show as I’ve been blasting this track like it’s a religion because decolonization should be! https://youtu.be/Bn6b-K-vUYc
The next track that really jumps out is Garden Of Understanding which is the first of two solid Emo Steady tracks. Emo Steady is a term that Jer to pursue a genre that blends ska with Midwest Emo. I’m fuckin here for it! The 2nd is a track called Maybe. To me it’s about dealing with activist burn out. It happens to me all the time because spending that much time fighting and caring about changing the world around us. The beginning of this song is sad as fuck going into the hopelessness we all feel when it constant seems like things aren’t gonna get better then goes into an amazing breakdown with a return of fighting spirit. Honestly, that’s how it feels. This whole record just keeps getting better as you hear each track front to back. In a time where too many are still trying to hate on ska, this shot to 74 on Billboard album sales. So clearly the haters don’t know shit. Maybe if we all support the absolute fuck outta this amazing release from Bad Time Records, Emo Steady can become a full genre. Go get a hold of this and blast it loud enough for the whole hood to dance and know how you feel about the present reality
Now this is a long overdue review of one of my favorite ska punk releases at all. If you need a heavy ska record to rage through the worst of mental health struggles to, it’s Good Riddance to Good Advice by Kill Lincoln. Yeah, not only does Mike run Bad Time Records, he ficking shreds on guitar and writes songs that have helped me through some shit. Stand outs are the title track that just sounds like intentionally tanking a bad day. Sometimes we need that. And Days I Spent Inside. It just sounds like a fight against depression and the basement hardcore chant of Do This For Yourself just fuckin slaps! Crank this one to 11 and hardcore skank through the trauma!
Hyper Ska superstar Eichlers has released their debut full length on Bad Time Records. This is the most exciting ska news of 2022 because this is honestly, so sick! If you’ve been paying attention, Ike has been loudly moving in this direction. I’ve been stoked since I heard the New Tone single. I still don’t completely understand hyper pop musically, but Eichlers is fucking awesome. Nickel City is lyrically my stand out track. It just sounds like a love letter for us who’ve been doing this a long time, this is the anthem for the elder rudies, we say stand together! Musically, I Need Hep Immediately with solid 808s under a classic sounding ska beat (trap rock steady) is the killer dance track of this. The features of Omnigone, Jer and Tape Girl add to this being a class in the new ska scene. This album was written and created by people that honestly love ska and are ready for its checkered future. And to the haters “talk shit and get sick”. Get a hold of this and blast it loudly and repeatedly!
Coming out back in 2018 was the beginning of the reinvention of We Are The Union as we know them today. This was their first album with Jer and the influence is very clear in the ska of this album. WATU is still the basement emo ska band we love bit with more ska which is an upgrade. This whole album tackles a subject that needs more conversation in the scene. Self Care and mental health. I’ve been listening to this on heavy rotation while I’m currently dealing with a failure of effectiveness in my meds. And it’s such a fucking amazing friend that gets just how fucked up you feel inside. My 2 stand out tracks are Better Home and Surfin On The Waves Of Depression. Better Home is a reminder that we don’t have to keep living whatever way the damage made us. It’s a cathartic fuck you to the trauma. Surfin’ other than being a solid ska punk track, is just giving into pain and riding those waves. Sometimes that’s just the answer. This album has been a life jacket for me on those waves twice now. Make fuckin sure you listen to this, it can make a difference. Stalk and support at the links below and play this fuckin loud! This is the official album of underground mental health, Reade is our fuckin ska queen and We Are The Union is the official band of pride!
Look for a deep dive on this album in relation to mental health on the Psych Revolution podcast.
My first favorite album of the year dropped this past Friday. From Pittsburgh PA it’s Dissidente’s war on 2 fronts. What’s it sound like? Western PA basement hardcore meets east coast ska core. It’s ska core as fuck. And listening to this baked is a fucking experience! There’s also some doom ska going on. The genre I didn’t know I needed. This is their debut LP from the label defending ska, Bad Time Records. This is also the first Bad Time release of 2022. Black Bloc is my stand out track. It’s solid fuckin ska core to dance around the burning police station to. Yeah, this is fuckin riot ska. We get cheese sticks after the revolution. So hit up the links below and blast this loud enough to lower property values.
This one is long overdue as Cold Hart came across my desk a couple years ago. Cold Hart gets listed as emo rap. But really, this is LA Death Rock meets trap and the hardness of his home LBC. Long Beach has a storied history in death rock and goth. Starting with the album Good Morning Cruel World fits right into the vein of TSOL with elements of Christian Death and Thursday (an arguably goth band if the Jersey hard core scene. This album features the single Eyes with Rawska. It’s one of my favorite songs of the last 5 years.
His debut album on Epitaph records Every Day is A Day continues on this with some slower and darker sounds reminding me of Joy Division, Cure and The Damned with some dance beat. My 2 top tracks off this are Decompose and Every Day’s A Day
20 years ago Anti-Flag released Underground Network on Fat Wreck. This album was and still is deeply influential and important to me. I was 18 and had been into punk for about 3 years. I was already deeply political and dissatisfied with most media but this album drove it further. I obsessively read the liner notes and did further studies based on the subject matter. The idea of an underground network existing outside of the mainstream to present information and entertainment is what led to this blog and for me to want to do a political podcast that is now happening. Also this album was the beginning of Anti-Flag coming into their own sonically and production wise. For me, this one still holds up musically and ideologically. My standout track on this is Bring Out Your Dead, but the whole record is fucking solid! So go check it of you never have, or rediscover it if it’s been awhile.
If you’ve ever wondered if you could mix smooth ska with brutal mathcore, the answer is fuckin yes!! Holy shit, this goes into the most interesting evolutions of ska list. The Best Of The Worst’s latest album Better Medicine. Another solid release from Bad Time Records. The sound is just fuckin insane, manic and beautiful. For me, it’s the most interesting band in ska since Blue Meanies. This is the new ska for the weird kids! I can’t pick a stand out as each track just has so much going on. If you need on music at all, play this one! Every bit of this from the vocals to the instrumentation is at the top of its game! They even have a gnarly fuckin 2Tone breakdown on one track and this whole record is full of gnarly breakdowns. So, figure out how to skank and hardcore dance at the same time for your new fitness regimen and blast this fucker till the paint melts from your walls! Stalk and support at the following links.
If you’ve been sleeping on this band, the alarm is goin off and it’s time to wake the fuck up. Kill Lincoln’s Can’t Complain should be in everyone’s list of most exciting ska or punk releases of the past year. The sound is No Torso’s horn section meets Catch 22 meets a bit of east coast emo with the energy of east coast basement hardcore. There’s even some sweet fuckin breakdowns. This band is helmed the Mike who also runs Bad Time Records. And all this amazing music is headed by solid vocals about real shit. Highlight track for me is Last Ditch Denial. If you’re getting old and still living in this scene, you’ll feel it in a bittersweet way. Get a hold of this and skank till ya knees give out and you’ve gotten a noise complaint! Stalk and support at the following links