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
I’ve shared this playlist before. Originally named Misfits Of Ska after the Asian Man Records comp. As I get questions and comments about it being the entirety of ska. Well, that was the idea. Other than wanting a portable library of the genre to listen to, it’s about algorithms and search results. To have all and any ska appear in the similar artists. We need all that builds upon what started in Jamaica in the 1950’s to get to know one another. If it wasn’t for the politics of ska, punk would’ve burned out with the Sex Pistols. Ska is a weapon against racism and our music is a weapon against the fascist favoring algorithms. Play yo shit loud and constantly!
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
For those who don’t know, there’s some amazing ska coming out. One of those is We Are The Union’s latest, Ordinary Life. The core of this album is vocalist Reade coming out as a trans woman bracketed by honest observations of mental health struggles a lot of us deal with. Everything on this album is fuckin amazing and Jer has the sickest Trombone solo on Morbid Obsessions, one of the highlight tracks on this. The other two are the Mad Caddies sounding Boys Will Be Girls and Make It Easy which sounds like Slackers meets Midwest Emo. Purely amazing music with Reade’s solidly pop punk vocals sweetening every track. We Are The Union is the ska punk for the current generation and everyone needs to jam it loud enough that your neighbors know the words. Support and stalk them at the following links
For the punk community 2020 has sucked as shows haven’t been that viable. We all think about this magical return to “normal” which is a strange thought for a culture that thrives on being abnormal. I think the way forward is hybrid where all live shows are streamed. Because you could have a group of punks in like Kansas or wherever have a house party for a show in any part of the world. The bands and venue staff could then have work no matter the conditions and the idea of punk which has mostly spread through touring could potentially spread further than it ever has. We’ve proven you can sell tickets for streaming events and we can continue that. Charge maybe a lower price than you would for showing up in person. I’m no expert, but clearly we gotta evolve in a changing world.
A little over a year ago an amazing release of blackened crust came blasting out of Sweden on Profane Existence! Swordwielder’s System Overlord. Holy fuck, this is amazing! 9 tracks of brutally crushing and complex black doom crust. my standout is Violent Revolution because it’s such a siren song for the strange reality we find ourselves in at present. Most of the songs clock in at 4 to 6 plus minutes and every bit of this time is spent painting a landscape of the dystopia that caresses the present world hellscape. Their sound is the progression of what Amebix began. This is progressive crust and what you need to hear right fuckin now if you haven’t yet. Crank it to 11!
Shit, took me a minute to get to this one. This past year the grime punk duo of Bob Vylan dropped their debut We Live Here. The sound is the bastard child of Trap and Anarcho punk with a British accent with the levels cranked to max to melt wall paint and fascist brains. This is easily the most interesting album in the last 5 years of punk. The Anarcho view from a black perspective is just something we don’t hear enough of as it’s still a drastically underrepresented viewpoint in the music. Stand out track on this is the title We Live Here which calls out the ever present ignorance of whites not being aware that people of color fucking live here. And everything on this album is straight out so blast the hatred out by cranking this shit!
Coming outta Pittsburgh, PA is the debut cyber crust full length from Lilac. For those who grew up on any cyber/ tech punk like ATR and Intro5pect the next evolution is fuckin here! 10 blistering tracks of electro brutality and amazing weirdness! Lilac is all one artist and she is hot on her shit. Everything is solidly put together and executed. The standout track is Unplug + Destroy which reminds me the most of lost nights blasting my conscious with my old ATR record. So dance with Lilac and let’s suffer together through the surveillance age as we start in our own bad reality shows in real time and do it fuckin loud!