6 Under Par
6 Under Par (Self-Released)
By: Alex Steininger
Comprised of high school students, Hamden, Connecticut's 6 Under Par pack youthful energy into every note of their ska-pop-punk blend. Taking lessons from ska-pop-punk bands like Less Than Jake (which 6 Under Par resembles...), they are able to crank out punk energy, danceable fun, and pop hooks within the same disc.
The first time I popped this CD in I gave it a quick listen and shelved it. It sounded like a young Less Than Jake, from the rhythm section to the horn players, which quickly turned me off. But, I figured I'd give it another listen, and I did. As I sat there and chewed on the music for a bit, the sugarcoated punk mixed with some catchy horn lines and an overwhelming urge to shake during the music, I started to enjoy it.
The intro clip from BACK TO THE FUTURE caught my attention and "No Five" followed up with a really poppy upbeat that just wouldn't get out of my head. Though, being self-produced and released, the overly high vocals turned me off some, but the fact that a beginning band could churn out pop music light and fun like this, with plenty of hooks, kept me listening.
"Desensitized" shows a faster, more punk-tinted side of the band, which contains the same infectious charge of earlier material, but with a more spirited vibe running through it. The vocals though continue to be either high in the mix or under experienced. Either way, they detract from the music, but the band is able to catch you from falling to hard and keep you listening.
It's not surprising the band shows signs of inexperience, well, because they are. But, what is surprising is that this band is able to create pop-punk with ska that maintains a really poppy edge despite the drawbacks. It is catchy, danceable, fun, and energetic, character traits that are important to each genre they dip into. I'll give this album a C.