Posts Tagged ‘Ska

21
Jul
10

Rock Reggae Revival

The Dirty Heads

By Ben Linton

Way back in the ’70s, a man named Robert Nesta Marley  brought the reggae scene to a whole other level with his rocksteady grooves and sweet, simple melodies. He made the whole world “get together and feel alright.” His impact on future musicians would be immense, as many would fuse their own styles with the skanking rhythms heard on Marley’s songs.

In the ’80s, artists like The Police and The Clash flirted with reggae fusion, but this genre didn’t real start to take shape until the ’90s when artists like Sublime, 311, UB40, and No Doubt all had a very present reggae element in their music.

Now that movement is being resurrected by a bunch of new artists. Bands like Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, The Expendables, Passafire, and Rebelution have helped keep the torch lit for this genre. You can now add the Dirty Heads to that list, as they may become the most popular band of all. With only one album to their names, the Heads have made Billboard history, by becoming the first independent label artists to have a number one song at alternative radio stations for 11 weeks in a row.

Any Port in a Storm (Deluxe Edition)

“Lay Me Down” featuring Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome, is the hit that has topped the charts and brought The Dirty Heads to heights never imagined for the Southern California band. The song is number one on both alternative and rock charts in the United States, the first time in history a band from an independent label has done so.

The Dirty Heads have already reached a level that other reggae/rock bands have not with only just one album to their credit, showing how much potential this group has. DH has multiple styles that make them very unique, their debut album Any Port in a Storm has many rock, reggae, ska, hip hop, and dancehall components that show the band’s talent to blend all these genre smoothly into one sweet sound. The band’s core sound lies in rapper/singer Jared Watson and guitarist/singer Dustin Bushnell. Songs like “Neighborhood” and “Hip Hop Misfits” are more edgy hip-hop songs, where Jared Watson reminds one of the Beastie Boys and Eminem. On songs like “Believe” and “Driftin’,” Bushnell takes over and shines with his bluesy guitar licks and catchy chorus melodies.

Believe


Neighborhood

The whole rock/reggae scene seems to be on the rise lately, and The Dirty Heads may just be the band to pave the way. The band has already had huge success, and the best is yet to come for these guys. Check this band out if you are lacking a good summer soundtrack.

19
May
10

The Expendables: Album Review

By Ben Linton

Now that summer time is almost here, a lot of good ska bands that play great music for those summer days are releasing new material. The Expendables are ska band from Santa Cruz, California that has a unique blend of styles, playing anything from metal to reggae, sometimes even switching back and forth between songs. On May 11th, the band released their newest album Prove It and did not disappoint, giving fans exactly what they expected and wanted. However, as noted by the title, with this album (the band’s fifth), the guys felt like they had something to prove. They wanted to show that they have grown as a band, and can expand out into new musical territories and succeed while doing so.

This can be shown in the first track How Many Times when the vocals hit you right in the face as the song starts. But if you listen closely, somethings sounds different from the typical Expendables song. Singer Geoff Weers’  changes his voice to a lower sound, rather than the more unique and distinct style that we were used to hearing. Many times on the album he changes his signing voice depending on the song, because in the following track “Get What I Need,” he goes back to his old singing ways. Just another exampleof the band experimenting with something new on the album and still sounding solid.

Since this the same band that gave you “Bowl for Two,” you know that there will be a track about a certain green substance on the album. This time, it is Come Get High. But don’t underestimate the song even if you are rolling your eyes at the meaning. This is actually a very well put together track and has more dimensions to it then previous Expendables songs. Another highlight of this album is “Positive Mind,” a song with a catchy guitar licks, a relaxing vibe, and very happy, inspiring lyrics. The following track, “Night Mission” may be one of the band’s best musical tracks; you really feel like you are on a night mission when you listen to it.

One thing that really impressed me with this album was the growth of drummer Adam Patterson. Not only are his drum beats better from previous albums and fills more advanced than before, his vocals are superb. Adam has never been the main singer on any of the Expendables hit songs, and frankly some of his songs were boring, but this time around all of the songs he sings are very well put together. For example, “I Ain’t Ready” is a groovin’ song with jazz instruments, which is the first time The Expendables have implemented brass instruments on any of their songs. “One Drop” is an upbeat, happy, and fun song with a very catchy chorus. Coming from one drummer to the next, I give him lots of props because people often underestimate how hard it is to play the drums and sing, let alone do both at the same time while still sounding good.

With this new album, the Expendables have kept the rock/reggae scene alive and running and have definitely proven their point. I highly recommend that you hit up your nearest CD store and check this album out.

18
Jul
09

Easy Summer Listenin’

By Ben Linton

So it’s summer time people, the most relaxing time of the year. These are the days when you don’t have a care in the world and are just enjoying your freedom and having fun. So if you’re relaxing and having a fun time, shouldn’t your music be? If you’re tired of listening to the same rap songs over and over about the same topics, try out some of these bands.

Here are my Top 5  Summer Bands:

Sublime

1. Sublime – This trio from Long Beach, CA was one of the most chill and fun bands to listen to when they were playing. They play a variety of music, including ska, punk, dub, rock, and reggae. Singer Bradley Nowell was an amazing guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Sadly he died of a heroin overdose in 1996 and Sublime no longer makes music. This is probably my personal favorite band of all time. Some good songs to check out from these guys are “Doin’ Time”, “Santeria“, and “What I Got”.

2. Jack Johnson– Jack Johnson is the epitimity of relaxation. This hawaiian singer and guitarist plays soft rock and acoutsic melodies that are so peaceful and calming. Check out “Banana Pancakes“, “Breakdown”, and “Flake” to see what I mean.

3. Blink-182– Everybody’s favorite punk rock band is always good to listen to in the summer. Although they are a little bit louder than the previous two, their light and humorous lyrical content makes up for it. The line “Fate fell short this time, your smile fades in the summer,” from the song “Feeling This” always makes it a great summer song. Also take a look at “The Rock Show” and “First Date”

Pepper

Pepper

4. Pepper– Aloha! Yet another hawaiian band has made it on this list. They must really know how to gave a good time over there. This trio of Bret Bollinger, Kaleo Wassman, and Yesod Williams can really kick all the basic ska riffs while Bret and Kaleo sing so sweetly and melodic. This band is easy to listen to for almost anyone, I recommend the songs “Bring Me Along”, “Lost in America”, and “Ashes” to get you started. This is currently my favorite band that still makes music.

5. Ballyhoo!- This is a new band that i’ve just discovered this past year and I really like them. They’re from Aberdeen, MD (Hey, something good actually comes from out of this state!) and play mainly ska, rock, and punk. Great lines like “Cancel all of your plans, girl, We’re going somwhere tropical” and “Don’t waste a minute of your summer time, Sing it one more time” truly represent how this is a great summer band. Listen to “Somewhere Tropical”, “Cervesa”, and “Cali Girl” to make your summer playlist complete.

Hopefully this article has helped you expand your music views and broaden your horizons to a whole other world of music. Do you think I’ve forget any bands? Please leave a comment and I will consider your opinions.

Honorable Mention: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, The Expendables, The SuperVillians, Bob Marley

 




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