Sasha used to tell me this hilarious story of how people she knew believed that Sublime and No Doubt invented ska. If you ask anyone on the street who the greatest musician/group from Jamaica, 63% will tell you Bob Marley, and the other 37% will state in complete disbelief “there are other musicians from Jamaica besides Bob Marley?”Let me tell you those 3 people I surveyed are wrong, and the greatest is Desmond Dekker… the king of ska. Practically every reggae and ska act has been influenced by Desmond Dekker in some way or another (hell, even Toots and The Mayals have a song called “Desmond Dekker Came First”).
Desmond Dekker’s music always is able to put a huge grin across my face, no matter what type of mood I am in. If you’ve never listened to Desmond Dekker before, definitely check out the original rude boy, as he’s definitely a favorite of mine (in fact, I named my cat after him.)
Rejoice Less Than Jake fans! For they have returned to true form!
Less Than Jake has always been one of my favorite bands, and you can imagine how heartbroken I was when they completely abandoned their ska roots since Borders and Boundaries. So you can imagine how stoked (yet still skeptical) I was when they announced they were leaving the major label world, and releasing a “true to form” album on their own record label entitled “GNV FLA”.
They released their first song off of the album, entitled “Does The Lion City Still Roar?” and let me say… this song has more horns in it then all of “In With The Out Crowd”. I feel like I’ve just re-united with a long lost friend.
Less Than Jake – Does The Lion City Still Roar?
Sleep It Off Records
I’ll always have a soft spot for The Hope Conspiracy. Besides having one of the coolest band name ever (cue flood of hipsters telling me “But it’s not doubled! It should be ‘ Hope Conspiracy Hope Conspiracy’), they were the first modern hardcore band that I listened to.
I was always a fan of old school hardcore such as Circle Jerks, Gorilla Biscuits and Minor Threat, but shunned the modern hardcore scene since it seemed like tough guy metal Hatebreed type shit or post-hardcore emo influenced Glassjaw type music. The Hope Conspiracy was my breath of fresh air that opened the doors to hardcore for me.
Similar in style to contemporaries Give Up The Ghost (*cough* American Nightmare *cough*), they are definitely one of the most underrated hardcore bands out there.
The Hope Conspiracy – Fragile
The Hope Conspiracy – Vendetta
courtesy of JoyMoody Photography
For those that don’t know, Ruder Than You play old school ska-funk fusion mixed with some reggae. This Friday, they will be releasing a new EP entitled “God’s Ghetto”. Admittingly, while I am a big fan of Ruder Than You, I have been (very) behind with their releases, only owning their debut “Big Step”, until now.
As someone who is most familiar with “Big Step”, listening to “God’s Ghetto” was sort of shocking at first, since Ruder Than You incorporates so many different styles into these five songs, and toning down their old school ska sound. However, by doing this, Ruder Than You broke away from “The Slackers” type sound and blend the styles of ska, reggae, dancehall, funk, and hip hop into a sound that they could call their own.
The lyrics seem very ragga-esque in nature, and I believe that is because of the topic of the EP (life in the ghetto). Check this EP out if you’re a fan of Ruder Than You, and if you never have heard of them, then DEFINITELY check the EP out.
Ruder Than You – God’s Ghetto
Ruder Than You – Few Dollars More
Blazing fast skate punk
Representing Toulise France
Grab your board and blades
Greedy Guts – Creamy
Greedy Guts – Power Ups
Good luck trying to find their albums.
Electronic indie pop. Those three words invoke visions in my mind of little hipsters bobbing back and forth to Ladytron in the back of some stuffy, overpriced club. Needless to say, I’m usually not a fan. With that being said, the new album out by Computerization completely blew me away.
Computerization is compiled (oh that’s right, dropping computer terms left and right) of just one man, Derek, who sings and makes all the beats to the songs. Sounding like the illegitimate love child between The Postal Service and Islands, but according to his bio, prefers to be thought of as a “unique snowflake”. You should probably just listen to my favorites and decide for yourself.
Computerization – 1.14me
Computerization – Collars
In a pissed off mood? Need to just shut the world out for a few minutes? Do I have the music for you!
Disfear’s “Live The Storm” is a blend of metal, crust, hardcore, and punk all rolled into one! Featuring the lead singer of legendary metal act “At The Gates”, Disfear hails from Sweden and sound like a mix between “Discharge” and “Strapping Young Lad”.
I haven’t been able to stop listening to them.
Disfear – Testament
Disfear – Get it Off
The name of The Low Budget’s latest album (ooook, so it came out a while ago, but I know a bunch of you missed it… shame on you!) “Leave Us A Loan” is pretty much the story of my life right now.
In between the clever puns lies a laid back punk album that sounds like the three way love child of Atom and His Package, The Descendents., and of course…. The Dead Milkmen (Joe from Dead Milkmen is in The Low Budgets).
For those already familiar with The Low Budgets, this album is more raw than their previous work, and while the happy sing-alongs are still there (see “Craft Fair”), you’ll find much more rockage on Leave Us A Loan.
Low Budgets – Craft Fair
Low Budgets – Breathing Kiel
“The Bouncing Souls ‘Self Titled’ is the worst album that the Souls ever released” seems to be the general consensus among fans. Even Greg the lead singer claimed in an interview once that the album seems unfinished (has a lot to be desired).
I wholeheartedly disagree with these accusations, probably because I have such a soft spot for the album (it was my first Souls record way back nearly 8 or 9 years ago as a awkward high school kid).
Sure, everyone loves the hits off the self-titled (ECFU, Kate is Great), but here’s a tribute to the lesser known, but just as amazing (if not more) songs off of the record that got me into the Souls.
Here’s to the memories.
Bouncing Souls – Low Life
Bouncing Souls – Serenity