Release date: January 10, 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Current Lineup: (via the band’s Facebook Page)

  • -Benjamin Feliciano – Vocals
  • -Nicole Swan – Trumpet
  • -James McPherson – Tenor & Baritone Saxophone, Vocals
  • -Ethan Harris – Tenor/Bass Trombone & Bass Trumpet, “Band Liar”
  • -Matt Sanchez: Trombone
  • -Levi Boenish – Guitar
  • -Andreas Landeck (The Shadows) – Guitar
  • -JD Minnick – Bass
  • -Caleb Williams – Drums & Vocals

Sounds Like :

  • Beat The Smart Kids
  • Bitter Grounds
  • NOFX
  • Rancid
  • Streetlight Manifesto

It’s time to show some local love to Denver based Ska/Punk band, Younger Than Neil. Back in January they released, “Never Quite Asleep”. A 3 track EP that I can’t seem to stop listening to. The new EP shows how much the band has matured since 2016’s release, “Know Their Parts”. There are deeper bass lines, more melodic guitar riffs, and amazing trumpet work. I still love “Know Their Parts”, but I’ve found my new EP obsession.

“They say that violence is in our genes. Point the finger as if they ruined everything. Our father’s cursed us with spirits, unclean. But it’s only up to us to change our destiny”

I love all of these tracks. My favorites are by far, “Happiest Nihilist” and “In Our Genes”. “In Our Genes”, really hit home for me. It made me think how we struggle to become what our parents wanted, not the person we want to become sometimes. Fighting a demon our parents left behind. Along with great lyrics, and a killer trumpet solo this is an amazing song!

Let’s wrap this up. Personally this EP needs to be voted for EP of the year. I enjoyed all 3 tracks and now have every single song stuck in my head. My only issue is I hope it won’t be another few years before we get some new material. So make sure you check out, Younger Than Neil’s, “ Never Quite Asleep”, here, https://youngerthanneilmusic.bandcamp.com/album/never-quite-asleep. You can follow here on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/youngerthanneil/.

​I have been meaning to review this album for so long. Even though Beat The Smart Kids released this album almost 2 years ago in 2016. This album constantly plays on my  phone over and over again. It’s filled with amazing songs that put a smile on your face. I imagine myself leaving a BTSK show dripping with sweat and exhausted from skanking my ass off.  I actually found these guys through What do you know about Ska Punk.

It seems that bands like Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish somewhat ruined the end of the 3rd Wave for me. They keep releasing cover albums and just plain shit albums. Although I love both bands their sound became so generic after awhile I got super tired of the hearing the same shit over and over again. This is where BTSK brought me back into the ska punk fold. Let’s get this review onwards!

1. RISE UP- The best intro track for the album. The song speaks of taking back our society from assholes! Favorite line- “The Illusion of choice is the ultimate deception”.

2. Chemical Reaction- Another kick ass tune. It speaks of gentrification and watching the wealthy take over your city, This song really reminded me of what Denver is going through now. Have you gone down to Ink for $15.00 coffee drink? Nope go somewhere local, where they give a shit about you!

3.  Emoticons- A song about how online interactions are changing the way we socialize with one another. I love the horns in this tune!

4. Go To Bread- A great song based off the Simpson’s popular meme, https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSimpsons/comments/1bef4d/tired_old_memes/ .

5. Brain Pollution- By far one of my favorite tracks off the album! Try some different things, move on from the shit that’s dragging you down!

 

6. One Point Twenty What?!- I love this awesome mix of horns and skacore!

7. Ruby Crystals- These guys are some Transformer nerds! And I freaking love it!

8. Do NOT Disturb- Introverts Unite!
9. Blind Faith- This tune is about a kid growing up with religion and realizing it’s all pretty much full of shit.

10.  You Haven’t Lived (Until You’ve Died) – Time to demand a change in the way we treat each other and the rest of the world. “The music really hits you when you think about it”.

11. Life’s Lessons- Enjoy life while you can! A song about the rat race and fighting that bastard we call life.  “It’s just another one of life’s lessons”.

12. M.$.O.T.E- Modern Slavery is going to a shitty job, everyday where you don’t get paid what you are worth. Where people are easily replaced and their names easily forgotten.

In conclusion this album kicks ass! Since this release the band has already released 2 EPs, Call In Sick and Better Luck Next time. They also did us a huge favor in helping CPRA get our name out there! So do yourself a favor and download ALL of their stuff!

Pick up the here https://btskska.bandcamp.com/ .  Be sure to follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/btskska/

The Philadelphia boys’s released Status Quo back in 2016.  From the opening track Biochemistry to last, Drinking To Brazil. This album is filled with happy ska tunes mixed with melodic punk. My first thoughts were something in between Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This is great album for questioning personal relationships. My favorite song by far is “Six Months”. The one thing I really enjoyed was the tempo changes between the different tracks.  I plan on picking up anything I can from this band!

 

So if you want to skank or break stuff in the pit. Do yourself a favor and pick up the LP! Pick up the new album here https://behinddeadlines.bandcamp.com/album/status-quo. Be sure to follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/BehindDeadlines/ ​

Fishbone is one of those bands that I can honestly say that I experienced (mostly) chronologically.  The first album I heard was their first album… this album.

Fishbone’s initial offering to the world just happened to be an EPIC EP of 6 songs that melted my face, when I first heard it at 15 years old.  Little did I know the strong impact their music would have on the ways that my world views have been shaped.

The self-titled album was strong on humorous lyrics, intense musical prowise, and encapsulating melodies.  It was very diverse in style… some ska… some rock… some punk… some soul… I had never heard anything like it at the time.

Over the years, Fishbone granted me the gift of racial perspective, allowing me to see the world without the filter of white privilege, helping me to understand the destructive nature and legacy of racism, and shattered stereotypes that have been forced upon us all by the media.

Fishbone’s perfectly crafted self-titled EP was one of the most important albums of my formative years, and I would highly recommend that everyone listen to the complete discography in chronological order.  Trust me… it’ll hit you in ways you really weren’t prepared for.​

This record was released in 2016 on VLE Records. Bitter Grounds is a punk ska band hailing from Utrecht, Netherlands. This album is like a breath of fresh air for punk rock and ska. While writing this in my head I have visions of punks, skins, and rockers moshing in harmony or destruction, Haha. I also think of the many people that are tired of the folk scene and need some hardcore guitar riffs in their lives.

Bitter Grounds - Hollowlands
Bitter Grounds – Hollowlands

Track 1- Hollowlands- Song has a great intro from the Film-Network, starring Howard Beale. “We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds – we’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs.”

This song has me thinking where did the idea for the tune come from? Is it against mass consumerism? Is it dropping your cell phone, closing your laptop and reconnecting with your fellow man? Is it something deep down we as all humans need to return to where the little things have meaning again? Is not listening to the latest political spin and thinking with our own brain’s again?

Track 2- Struck Out- Definitely my favorite track from the album. The first time I heard it I quickly reached for my phone to make sure I hadn’t accidentally started a Tim Timebomb or Lars Fredrickson Spotify channel. As I listen I can hear a band struggling to make it to the top, but they are being shutdown by the establishment. I love the outtake near the end of the tune from a Youtube video where an angry man berates a musician playing for change, https://youtu.be/9E62iA6KCIQ.

Track 3- Tell Me Now- A toe tapping tune that will have you singing along. To me it feels like the ending of a relationship or some sort. You question yourself and those around you wondering where to go from there.

Track 4- Life of Violence- Probably my 2nd favorite track. It’s almost a throwback to 1980’s punk rock like the Dead Boys yet has the strength and momentum of Bad Religion. Are you ready to destroy? Throw on this jam. The song actually has a very deep meaning about being surrounded in a world full of violence.

Track 5- Human Touch- I really enjoy the mix thrown in here to slow the tempo down. It’s like this track is referencing the meaning behind Hollowlands. Almost as if humans need to return to being human again. Is it time to put down the ipad for bit?

Track 6- Patience- Picking up the pace again this tune is about fighting and not waiting around for things to change. We cannot change the world sitting around and being patient.

Track 7- Pressure- My 3rd favorite track on the album. This tune reminds me a little of Stiff Little Finger’s cover version of The Specials song, Doesn’t Make It Alright. I for one think this song is possibly about the loss or troubled relationship.

Track 8- Fine, Alright- A nice steady rock steady beat behind a bass line. Reminds of a bit of Rat Race by the Specials. About knowing your job is sucking the life out of you and wanting more out of life than the 9-5.
Ok we here at Colorado Punk Rock Army give Hollowlands by Bitter Grounds a solid 9.5. Add this album to your collection today and buy the shit out of their merchandise! Let’s put these guys on the map! Hollowlands is available on all major music providers right now.
You can grab this album here, https://bittergrounds.bandcamp.com/  or follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/BitterGroundsBand/