Turn up for what? Turn up for a Turbo Polka Party! That’s right, it’s time to get this party started with the newest dance-worthy, head-bopping, ska-laden, metal riffage of Russkaja and Turbo Polka Party (Napalm Records). Russkaja is famous for blending ska, punk, and reggae to create a unique and fun sound. This new offering is a straight-up craic!
If you ask a fan of ska to name three pioneering acts, you’ll likely find a lot of people answering with Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (RIP) and Less Than Jake. And for good reason. The staying power of the three legendary bands speaks for themselves; Reel Big Fish formed in 1991, the Bosstones were around as early as the mid-1980s, and Less Than Jake first surfaced thirty years ago.
It’s easy to forget how courageous and inspiring it is to lay all your cards on the table, especially as an artist in the public eye. To the layperson, it might feel uncomfortable if a few friends or family members find something out about them that’s personal or revealingContinue reading →
From the opening shred and bombastic drumming, the listener knows 8 Kalacas’ Fronteras (Atomic Fire Records) is going to be epic. If you aren’t familiar with the 8 Kalacas, be prepared. It’s not straight up punk or metal. The songs veer stunningly off the tracks with the insertion of a ska sound that immediately puts one in the mind of the old Batman and Robin television series with Adam West and Burt Ward. The album is frenetic, wild, and just plain fun! Fronteras is part ska, part punk, part metal, part schlock, and all amazing. If you are a fan of Russkaja, then 8 Kalacas is your band. It’s like that, but in Spanish.
If a change is as good as a rest, is a rest as good as a change? It has been over five years since the undistinguished Afraid of Heights (Warner Music) and over two years since the first single from this album, ‘Forgiveness I + II’. While delays could be justifiable and chalked up to the pandemic, the question is, on their sixth album and first for Spinefarm, are Canadian punk troupe Billy Talent facing their own Crisis of Faith and confidence?
(HED) P.E. releases a solidly decent album with Class of 2020(Suburban Noize Records). The band, hailing from Southern California, truly embodies the eclectic skater vibe of the area. The album is a mix of rock, funk, and rap. Jared Gomes, Jeremiah Stratton, Kurt Blankenship, DJ Blackard, and Chad Benekos are a tight outfit, and Class of 2020 has no wasted riffage.
Pop, Punk Rock, Ska, and… Hip-Hop?! Alright, I’m in! Gilford, New Hampshire was host to what is probably the most fun-loving tour of the summer, the co-headlining tour of California’s The Dirty Heads and Nebraska’s own 311, along with The Interrupters, Bikini Trill, and Dreamers.Continue reading →
Evolution is inevitable, resisting it is futile. I have witnessed oodles of bands that have resisted letting their music evolve, getting themselves trapped in a murky impenetrable bubble of monotony and dismal record sales. (Hed) P.E. is not one of those bands. If anything, (Hed) P.E. could be the official spokesmodel for bands who embrace the natural evolution of their music. The latest studio album from (Hed) P.E., Stampede (Pavement Entertainment) is a dynamic testament that the band is categorically fearless in their songwriting and continue to transcend any and all musical pre-conceived notions.Continue reading →
Not even a whole year after the release of their debut self-titled album, the extreme metal mob, Bitch Hawk are back at it again with their latest full release Joy (Adrian Recordings). The short time span has no effect on the quality of the music whatsoever. With a diverse range of musical backgrounds in the band, from Ska bands to writing for Charli XCX, this mixed bag of influences and sounds come together to create this unforgettable album.Continue reading →
As we move into the Post-Warped Tour era (don’t write letters, we know it’s coming back as a festival in a year or two), it’s a comfort to know that there are still classic 1990s pop-punk bands you can count on. The mid-to-later half of that decade was full of great punk bands with a lot of fire, and some killer melodies. One of those bands was Chicago’s Alkaline Trio, led by founding vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba, also doing time in Warped mainstay Blink-182. Their ninth and most recent release, Is This Thing Cursed?put out on their longtime label Epitaph, feels like a win early on. In spite of a five-year gap between albums, the enthusiasm of the band can be felt in the songs and was intended to recapture the feel of their earliest work. Continue reading →