Ska

Artist: 
The Frightnrs
Label: 
Daptone Records

The Frightnrs have put together an authentic collection of reggae and rocksteady music with pop/Motown-inspired melodies and vocal performances. With crackling lo-fi production that sounds like it was cut in the 1960s, the record is imbued with a warm color and classic feel.

The writing is definitely strong. Tightly arranged, and performances balanced economically, the tracks are given room to breathe and vibe. Not a performance here sounds stiff or imitative.

Sounds Like: 
Cornell Campbell
Name: 
Grant L Williams
Date Reviewed: 
09/07/2016
Artist: 
Slightly Stoopid
Label: 
Stoopid Records

Soooooo, this is Slightly Stoopid. That's pretty much all there is to this album. All I mean, is that all the songs are pretty much what you would expect from the latest Slightly Stoopid album: 420 friendly, "Peace, Man," and sex with girls. I would say if you are a fan of ska/reggae genres, you will definately enjoy the catchy, happy beats (as I do), but will not see much innovation in their style. If you want some popular radio music you should play one of their songs on your show. That's pretty much all I have to say here, unfortunately.

Sounds Like: 
Pepper
Sounds Like: 
Slightly Stoopid
Name: 
Taylor Ducklow
Date Reviewed: 
10/09/2015
Artist: 
Disposable
Label: 
Self-released

These playful ska punks hail from New Jersey, and their high, high energy and (sensual?) crooning makes you want to jump around a room. They are the punk dudes next door. With a song about Scooby Doo and an exploration of the ukulele and tambourine, you will feel like you’re celebrating something hardcore while jamming out to reggae.
(The CD supposedly doubles as a vinyl 45 RPM but I attempted to play it with no luck. Hmm.)

Sounds Like: 
The Dirty Heads
Sounds Like: 
Cage the Elephant
Sounds Like: 
Wolfmother
Name: 
Kalli Wolf
Date Reviewed: 
04/01/2015
Artist: 
Captain Squeegee
Label: 
80/20 Records

Captain Squeegee is a local ska-rock band from Phoenix that have been keeping up the most skankin-est of tunes. I remember first seeing these guys my junior year of high school at Edgefest, so I was real stoked to see this CD in our mailbox and see that they're still providing ska music to the Phoenix music scene. I had pretty much no expectations going into this album, though, 'cause I haven't seen them or heard them probably since high school. I have to say, I was actually really surprised on how solid this album is.

Sounds Like: 
RX Bandits
Sounds Like: 
Dog Fashion Disco/Polkadot Cadaver
Name: 
Parisa Eshrati
Date Reviewed: 
01/17/2015
Artist: 
The Webelos
Label: 
Self-Released

So this band formed to make music inspired by 60's folk rock and psychedlia while influencing a southwestern latin feel. Guitars and Trumpets are a must, some strings here and there. Some instrumental tracks too. Easy going, good vibes all around. This is an album to listen to when you want to relax and just chill out. This is their second fill length album. They are an independent band from Seattle.

Sounds Like: 
Phish
Sounds Like: 
Pink Floyd
Name: 
Lauren Wexler
Date Reviewed: 
11/04/2014
Artist: 
Kevin Kinsella
Label: 
Town Records

This Irish guy sure does know how to make some good reggae.  Basing a lot of his influences on Bob Marley, Kevin Kinsella makes a unique sounding blend of his interesting voice with upbeat rhythms and catchy melodies.  He has been a part of several groups before going solo and has even opened for Toots and the Maytals.  I thought this was a great starter kit for someone that is not quite sure if they like reggae yet.  He is very passionate about his music and released this album on his own label.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Marley
Sounds Like: 
The Tribulations
Name: 
Krissy Baca
Date Reviewed: 
10/24/2014
Artist: 
Shrub
Label: 
Rastafari

From Columbus, Ohio, Shrub is a seven piece ska/reggae/rap/rock fusion band. In September 2010 the band was named High Time's Unsigned Band of the Month. This is the band's debut album, and it was featured in the top ten on Itunes Reggae. The album features work from C-Money of Slightly Stoopid, One-Eyed Doll, and Tropidelic. The band has surely put in work to earn a name for themselves, and I look forward to future projects by them.

Sounds Like: 
Pepper
Sounds Like: 
Slightly Stoopid
Name: 
Michael Heslinga
Date Reviewed: 
04/08/2014
Artist: 
Bim Skala Bim
Label: 
Bimska Music

BIM SKALA BIM! Keep skankin'  all you moonstompin' rude boys and rude girls, because ska is still alive! Bim Skala Bim is an 8-piece ska band from Boston, MA. Their instrumentation consists of trombone, guitar, bass, B3 organ, piano, percussion, drums, saxophone, and funky vocals. While each of the musicians execute the songs greatly, their strongest elements are their vocals and drums/percussion. "Chet's Last Call" is the first release by the band in over a decade, and is full of musical gems.

Sounds Like: 
The Pietasters
Sounds Like: 
Streetlight Manifesto
Name: 
Michael Heslinga
Date Reviewed: 
02/09/2014
Artist: 
The Hip Abduction
Label: 
none

Give me a minute. I am sorry. I just listened to easily the greatest mix of genres on one CD in all 19 years of my existence. These guys combine African, funk, reggae, roots, rock, and caribe into a mix that leaves you craving more and really thirsty for a pina colada. These guys pull out the bongos and sax for songs that have you banging your head like crazy. I can't wait till these guys put out their next album because I have already listened to this one 300 times. 5/5.

Sounds Like: 
State Radio
Sounds Like: 
John Brown's Body
Name: 
Robert Cerasa
Date Reviewed: 
12/11/2013
Artist: 
Five Iron Frenzy
Label: 
Five Minute Walk

Five Iron Frenzy comes back strong after 10 years of not releasing a studio album. The songs are catchy, with awesome riffs and drumbeats. The melody moves along swimmingly through each song. You can hear what they're saying and the vocals aren't overpowered by the music. The music is fast paced and keeps you locked in and interested. They're lyrics are relatable, dealing with aspects of life. Their incorporation of brass instruments, such as the trombone and trumpet make the sound fuller, adding an extra kick. The added tenor sax makes each song livelier.

Sounds Like: 
Reel Big Fish
Sounds Like: 
The Supertones
Sounds Like: 
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Name: 
Dalal Kaddoura
Date Reviewed: 
12/10/2013
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