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November 20, 2017


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This Aren't Two Tone
A Ska-Punk Compilation (Too Hep Productions)

By: Alex Steininger

There is so much currently going on in the Ska-Punk scene. A lot of cities are breaking out with their own scenes, and it is hard to keep up with some of the great new bands paving their way to glory with their take on ska and punk. Combining the dancing power of ska, and the outcast mentality of punk, these bands are introducing the world to a fairly new music movement. And This Aren't Two Tone showcases some of today's up and coming ska-punkers.

Thirty three tracks of non-stop action, and over seventy one minutes of music, you will definitely get a feel of what different scenes have to offer. From The B-Lee Band's punk tinted ska, to Link 80's all out fast paced, action packed punk with ska traces, there is something for everyone here! Out of all the tracks, it is hard to choose some of my favorites, but the album standouts include Heft, Link 80, Supermarket All-Stars, and Animal Chin. But the two best tracks come from Portland, Oregon's Little Mission Heroes and Houston's The Impossibles. Heft takes a comedy approach to their song, "Julie." Starting off with just guitar strumming, and then the horns enter, as well as the rest of the band. Although the beat is quite catchy, and a soft starting, faster paced ending combo is quite nice, the song draws you in through the lyrics like, "Julie doesn't like me/or any boy at all/wasn't always like that/not since last fall." Next up is Link 80 with "Screwed." A beautiful horn section, some nice ska to punk guitar, and rough vocals which carry the emotion of the song quite well. And then there is Supermarket All-Stars with "Girl Fight." Starting off with heavy guitar, and then some nice textured horns brighten up the beat until the vocals come in and the pace jumps into full speed. A track you can mosh or skank too. A powerful tune, by a very powerful band. Next up would be Animal Chin with "Seven." Ska-punk doesn't get much better than this. From faced pace ska guitar, to a hard chorus, this song will draw you in, spit you back out, and take you in for a second and third time. But now we come to the exceptional stuff! The stuff that make the album what it is! Without the contributions by Little Mission Heroes and The Impossibles, this album might slip a few notches, but these guys make the album worth everything! Little Mission Heroes, "I'm Wrong," starts off with an infectious bass, and then gets into a nice dance mood. Well rounded vocals, and a calm horn section that line this song perfectly make it a definite hit! And then the chorus comes in, picking up the pace ten steps. Then it is back to the soft, dancing power the song has. A minute forty into the song they go into a gentle jam, and the horn section soothes any wounds you are feeling, and your body goes completely numb with excitement! And then they snap your neck going back into a fast paced, punk with horns jam! And next up is The Impossibles. The first ten seconds of the song, and you are already addicted. This song is very well composed. Ska guitar, and words about how he was younger and everyone picked on him because he was heavier than the others, makes you go crazy dancing, while you feel his pain in the back of your mind. And when it rips into the chorus, you know these guys are going to dominate the scene in two to three years. Little Mission Heroes and The Impossibles are definitely bands you should keep your eyes on, or get teased by your friends later down the road for being blind to great up and coming artists!

It seems Too Hep Productions has put together a great compilation that will not only educate you about what different scenes have to offer, but a compilation that will let you kick back and just have fun! But remember, after hours of dancing to this CD you should probably go get a drink of water to refresh yourself. This CD definitely deserves an A+! Very rarely will I give a compilation a score that high, but this CD has everything and more! Go pick it up!

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