There are two things that spring to mind immediately when I listen to this recording:
1) This stuff would be so much better live.
2) No one over 19 listens to this stuff.
Keeping these things in mind, I listen to the lyrically-driven ska stomping of syllable upon
syllable and the plonk, plonk, plonk of the guitar, bass and drums, and try and find some enjoyment in this music. But although the frontman Michael "Happy" Weininger delivers his message with a certain sense of zeal, the two things above can immediately be applied to his voice and lyrics: the latter is immature, not as much of a social and political commentary as I think Happy believes it is (rather a pubescent, awkward dribbling), and the former is just so not captured properly on this recording.
To further that notion, I can tell this band absolutely goes off at a crowded punk bar with plenty
of booze: they are pure energy. I love that sort of shit, so it is with great sadness that I find
myself cringing at more than every second song because there must have been a vampire-energy-sucker lurking outside the studio; they just sound FLAT. Really really flat, often in pitch but more importantly in energy levels. The drummer is hitting those skins as hard as he can, the bass is driving, the guitar chops, and the vocals pump, but somehow the collective oomph of the band just dissapated into the atmosphere.
Furthermore the songs just aren't that great. If the lyrics were mind blowing, or there was
something different or original about the songs, rather than just - ska. ska. ska. plonk. plonk.
plonk - it could save this record from mediocrity, but unfortunately these things are not to be. To
conclude I return to my original thoughts on the recording: teenage ska kids will love this stuff,
because the lyrical intelligence is on par with their c-grade English essays, and if you're a bit
older and the band is playing near you I urge you to go see them live and get wasted with them.
However, do not bother with this rushed, awkward, backyard studio job of an album, unless you're looking for something to bore you or are interested in sound engineering and want to know how NOT to capture the essence of a band.
Buy the CD