Demo Tape Album reviews.
Release Date: 1997
Record label: Unsigned
Leaving MC's Hanging High on the Noose
by: bill aicher
Story First: So here I am, sitting on the computer and I get one of those random ICQ messages. (If you use ICQ you should know what I am talking about). Anyways, this guy wants to know if I like ska. Personally I am not a big fan, but some of it is pretty good. I talk to him a bit, and he asks if I want a copy of his band's tape. I said sure, who can pass up free stuff? (note: this was before Music-Critic.com ever started). I am happy I said yes.
Review: These guys have become one of my favorite ska bands. Yes, I know I don't have an expansive collection, but they are still damn cool. They have a different approach than some others, including a rap style in some tracks which actually works quite well. I only wish they could get signed, since they deserve it. They kickass for some dudes from Florida =)
The lyrics keep it real, and are one of my favorite aspects about the band. The stories are sometimes serious, though mostly just damn funny. One of the best tracks is "Something in the Way" which is basically about the frustrations a man must endure when it is his woman's time of the month. "There's something in the way" - you can figure out what it is. I like how they took parts of the Nirvana song of the same title, added some ska and some old-skool rap style to make the song totally their own. Other great lyrics can be found everywhere on the tape, especially in "Yo Mama" and "Friendleaver." Eric Best has an excellent voice that comes through whenever it is necessary - crisp and clear. The backup vocals are in the classic ska chorus style. I am going to be quiet now, I love the vocals - ok?
The band backs up well, but it could use a few more horns. In order to totally kick ass in the ska arena they need a trombone player and / or trumpet player. The saxophone is great, I am impressed by the style and riffs there (especially in "Polyester", but it just sounds weak in the back - my only complaint. The guitar is classic ska upbeats and there are funky basslines stuck in here and there, especially in the rap sections.
Since this is just a demo tape, I would feel awkward giving it a turntable rating. It can't be as perfectly produced or as high sound quality as a CD, but it still does sound great. I would love to hear some stuff done by a label, we will have to see. Word is that they are working on new material. Eric is going to keep me posted, so I will let you know what is up.