Millie Manders & The Shutup – “Shutup” (EP)

Release Date: 9/21/2018

Format: Digital

Label: Bad Granola and Bredda Records

Location: Norwich/London

Current Lineup:

  • Millie Manders – Vocals,
  • Ukulele & Alto Saxophone
  • Lewis Slater – Guitar
  • Matt Munford – Bass
  • Alessandro Vitiello (Ale) –
  • Drums
  • George Alan – Trumpet
  • Dom Walker – Tenor
  • Saxophone

Favorite Tracks: Right To Life, Brave, Lollipops, and One That Got Away

Sounds Like:  Save Ferris, Last Reel Hero, No Doubt, Dance hall Crashers, People Corrupting People, Band Manners, Sorry Sweetheart, The Interrupters, and The Transplants.


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The beginning of the 3rd Wave of ska was flat out amazing! Here in the states we started with bands like, Fishbone, OP Ivy, Sublime, Bosstones, Let’s Go Bowling, The Aquabats, and the list goes on and on. But somewhere along the way. The big shots in the music industry discovered they could make a ton of money from it.

Somewhere along the line originality died. Many bands began to  follow the standard, “Reel Big Fish” formula. It was a race to see who could make more money, and not so much about making good music. This is not a knock on Reel Big Fish. Afterall we “Sold Out” with them. I do love many of their songs, yet they like Goldfinger went generic. They released full albums of nothing, but cover albums. Don’t get me wrong I love many of them, but for me, skapunk became generic.

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I started going more down the underground tunnel. I started looking for bands you wouldn’t find on the FM dial. I wanted that gritty street punk sound with massive heart. When we started CPRA back in 2016 I was happy to see that skapunk was thriving here in Colorado and across the world in small underground factions. The 3rd Wave never died, it evolved.

This leads me into introducing, Millie Manders & The Shutup, launching their new EP, “Shut Up” on Bad Granola and Bredda Records on 9/21/2018. I found this band through one my favorite skapunk bands, Bitter Grounds. I watched about 15 seconds of their new video for, “The One That Got Away” and knew right away I needed to review this record!

 

So let’s check out the new “Shut Up” Ep. The record kicks off with the “Right To Life”. This one is pure dirty and gritty ska punk. Mander’s vocals at the intro and throughout the track are extremely impressive. She sounds a bit like Imelda May, but retains the street punk sound of Monique Powell or Kim Deal. The pit will get nasty on this one. The heavy almost metal like bass line has this one stuck on repeat.

Have you ever been caught air drumming at work? Well I just did. Haha. That’s what the next track, “Brave” made me do. The guitar riff behind the drums is amazing in the intro before coming to full pressure to join the horns. The main theme of the song is stop being a slave to the system. I love this song!

“Lollipops”, is up next on the record. Mander’s vocals again shine on this track. You can feel her anger and animosity brewing. The horns and drums are the keys one this one. The political message in this song is strong. In fact Mr Trump this one goes out to you! The power hungry money money/war mongers are getting richer by the day while the poor get poorer.

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“The One That Got Away”, is up next. Everything seems to come together to blend into the perfect anti love song. This one will likely hit the major airwaves. Yep Dying Scene and Punk Tacos! This song is about taking the power back and walking away from a bad relationship. This song will quickly become an anthem for those trying to get away.

Overall this ep is phenomenal. Millie Manders & The Shut Up have broken the generic skapunk formula, and replaced it with everything we love. This record is filled with generes too many to count and the sheer happiness received when listening is priceless. Be sure to check the ep out!

Tracks:

1) Right To Life

2) Brave

3) Lollipops

4) One That Got Away

Links:

Bitter Grounds- “Two Sides Of Hope”

Bitter Grounds- “Two Sides Of Hope”  

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Release date: October 2018

Format: Digital and physical

Label: The album will be released soon on Ring Of Fire Records, Bad Granola Records, aggrobeat.com and Mass Prod

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Ronald
  • Dinter
  • Daan
  • Peter

Favorite Tracks: Two Sides Of Hope, Let Me See Now, Bad Dreams, Let Them Talk,

Sounds Like: Rancid, The Transplants, The Interrupters, NOFX, The Mad Caddies, Last Reel Hero, and  Lagwagon.


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Almost 2 years ago CPRA, debuted our very first album review with Bitter Grounds and their epic release, “Hollow Lands”.  “Hollow Lands” is an amazing album! It’s still in my daily rotation of awesome music. Since my last review I’ve come to few realizations. The Netherlands has a kick ass punk scene. I’d love to go on an epic Punk Rock Holiday throughout Europe someday.

 

Let’s get into the new album, “Two Sides Of Hope”. The album kicks off with, “Lost”. This is a great introduction for anyone that’s never listened to Bitter Grounds before. This track is angry, fast and speaks the truth. The lyrics are deep and one cannot, but empathize with the author. I love the drums on this track

“Hold on, when all is lost,

Hold On, when all is lost on the inside.”

Just like, “Hollowlands”. I can feel the beginning of a tale. Now I don’t know if this was intended, but it seems that way. Next up is, “Two Sides Of Hope”. This is my favorite track on the record. The melodic chorus the band gathers is noteworthy, yet the punk rock sound is so evident. Check this kick ass animated video. This guitar riff on this track is wicked.

Next up is, “Let Me See Now”. This is probably my second favorite track on the record. This one is filled with animosity, yet you get to skank it out. It’s immediately catchy and sure to get stuck in your head. This one could easily hit the US airwaves. Hello Punk Tacos? Stop playing Fall Out Boy and play this!!! Haha I kid of course. This song is really somewhat nostalgic with it’s Rancid like sound.

“Bad Dreams”, continues the ska punk sound. The song will keep that head boppin. I really hope Bitter Grounds has adopted a Demon guy like, Ben Carr from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This song will make you lose at least 3lbs during the track! “My Time”, brings back the punk with a bit OI in it. This is anthem song for the working class! The drums and guitar rip on this track.

“Faded”, brings back the ska punk. I have to wonder if the song refers to some sort of drug use. I am not really sure of the meaning, but it somewhat points in that direction. I love the intro guitar on this, before the jinky ska sounds comes in. “Let Them Talk”, another one of my absolute favorites on the record. This one speeds the record up with blunt force. We can hear that anger burning and about to ignite. The pit will be nuts on this one.

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“Seven Nights”, slows it down a tad. It begins with that Bitter Grounds sound I’ve come to love. The progression build on this one is fun. The vocals are amazing and blend seamlessly with the drums. I won’t call this one a “Drinking Song”, but it reminds me of bunch of punks ejoying their limited amounts of time together.

“FML”, is up next. “I’m sure you know what the acronym means. This one is another head to the pit song. Having a bad day? Throw this on and destroy something in a junkyard. This song will kick ass on your, “My Pissed Off Playlist”.

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I must admit I’m always a bit leary of listening to something new from a band I love. I’m always willing to try though. I can thank Green Day for that. This new album was just as good if not better than Hollowlands. I feel like as this album may be finer tuned, or as a band matured together. In conclusion, ‘Two Sides Of Hope”, is album we need in times when desperate measure must be taken to preserve our sanity.

Tracks:  (Subject to change)

  1. Lost
  2. Two Sides Of Hope
  3. Let Me See Now
  4. Bad Dreams
  5. My Time
  6. Faded
  7. Let Them Talk
  8. Seven Nights
  9. FML

Links:

Younger Than Neil – Never Quite Asleep

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/.

​Beat The Smart Kids – Broke Again

​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/

​Behind Deadlines-​ Status Quo

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 – ​​ Fishbone (S/T)

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.​