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November 24, 2017


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Dance Hall Crashers
Honey, I'm Homely! (MCA Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Dance Hall Crashers have dual female vocals, as well as bouncy pop melodies mixed with ska and a punk edge. What started out as an Operation Ivy side project for Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman turned into a full time project for the new members once Tim and Matt left the band. Now on their new, fifteen song CD for MCA Records they try to break away from their past and create a future.

The CD starts out with "Lost Again." The vocal harmony at the beginning kicks it off with a soothing shake, and then the guitar quickly squeezes its way into the mix. Then the rest of the band enters and some nice ska beats line a heavy pop base. The chorus quickly hits you, and by that time your all ears. The melodies are bright and very catchy. You can't help but start to bounce around and try to sing along. The dual vocals add depth and strength to the vocal position, while the guitar screams along with skankable melodies as long as bouncy pop hooks. The drums fire away, and the bass keeps the thump in your step. "Salted" is a pure pop song with light horns in the background courtesy of California's Hepcat. The song doesn't have the hooks and pace as the others, but the tranquil tone of the song plays nice with the vocals, and adds a bit of depth into their portfolio. "Elvis & Me" is an up tempo pop-punk song that adds some ska riffs for flavor. Unfortunately the ska in this song doesn't flow with the rest of the song, and just seems unnecessary. The song is catchy and bouncy, and has a pop kick sure to put a smile on anyone's face, but the ska that is in the song gets lost in everything else, and just doesn't add much. A more punk approach on the guitars might have sprung up the song a bit. "Whisky & Gin" is a clean pop-punk song sure to please. The guitar screams through punk riffs, and still manages to add hooks and straight forward rock n' roll into the mix. The drums constantly beat ferociously, while the bass is tight and strong, adding a definite backbone to the song. The vocals run through the song at a fast pace, but still keep it understandable and harmonious. "Cold Shower" brings back some more ska. With this pop-ska ditty you'll jump right out of your seat and start to skank up a storm. The beats are there and ready to tickle your feet. The choruses are strong and will drill their way right to your head. The drums are always there to add a kick to the music, and same goes for the bass. Up front its a danceable song, but in the back of its mind it is there to rock and kick out some power. "Stand By" jumps from slow pop-ska melodies that prove this band can slow it down and still get you to dance all the way to pop melodies that will get you jumping out and down shouting out the words. "Big Mouth" lays the ska on thick, making it near impossible to not want to get up and dance around. The pop edge is always there to make you bounce and sing along, adding quite a step to your dance. "Over Again" closes out the CD with some more of that ska-pop fusion that will drive you wild. Jump up and down, run around wild, skank until you drop, or just sing along. This song (as well as the whole CD) will help you.

Dual female vocals add depth and much strength to the music, as well as the lyrics. The beats are diverse, able to jump from punk screams to bouncy pop and all the way to skankable melodies sure to make you get up and dance. If your into pop bands like No Doubt or Goldfinger who fuse ska elements into their music, then this is the CD for you. I'll give it a B.

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