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June 22, 2024

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The Parka Kings
-Bienenidos! (Jump Up! Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Parka Kings are an up tempo third wave ska band. But they don't get stuck into any label. They throw everything they have at you, and can play various styles of ska. Ranging from reggae beats to traditional ska, and right back up to the third wave up tempo beats that line most of their songs, boy can they play it all. No matter what kind of ska your into, you'll find something you like here.

The CD starts off with "City Limits," a very up tempo ska song with style. From the first beats you'll jump right up from the couch and start skankin' your ass off. Your feet will move along with the vigorous ska guitar, while the drums and the bass will create a driving force for you. The song will change paces and slow down at times, which will give you time to rest, but don't hold your breathe. They'll jump right back into some beautifully composed melodies that will give you no other choice but to dance. The horns are bright and thick, and add a lot of emotion and power to the song. "Mob Boss" gives you a different taste of what this band can do, and what they are about. It's a lot more traditional, and for the most part leans a lot on the reggae side, including the vocals. The keyboards feel like a nice, cool breeze that flows through your hair. The whole song will remind you of drinking pi?a colada's on the beach in some sunny, tropical climate. Beautiful girls walking by you, and your having the time of your life. It's a very relaxing and mellow song, and shows this bands diversity. "Midnight Sails" goes back to some ska, but it's a long less frantic than the first few songs. Now they slow down the pace. The horns are the dominate factor in the song, and the vocals add the background for the whole song. The guitar will have you dancing along, while the melody will have you hooked and trying to sing along. "Pablo Can't Take It" starts off soft, but goes right back to the up tempo ska that these guys are so great at. Screeching guitars run through the song during the chorus, but the song returns to it's gentle, but up tempo, pace. "Jefferson Assembly" is another up tempo song that gets your feet dancing along. The horns add a soft touch to the song, while the vocals add an up beat feeling to the song. While the horns are playing you'll feel every note that flows from them, and when the vocalist sings his words will drill right to your heart. "Drug Prowling Wolf" is one of the best songs on the album. The guitar gets your feet movin' at a frantic pace, and when the chorus hits it adds a lot of fuzz and punk related licks to it's score. But it quickly jumps right back up and makes your feet keep movin'. They do slow it down in a few places, but that's only to make sure you don't burn the bottom of your shoes on the floor because your skankin' so fast. The CD ends with "One by One," a song to drink too. It's a very happy, comical song. It's got the hooks to nab you in (even though it's only forty six seconds), and it gives off a good vibe. A great way to end the CD, with a fun lovin' song. Like I said, you never know what these guys are going to do. They are so talented, they can throw something your way once, and something totally different that will throw you off guard next.

Do you like bands that know how to have a good time, and don't get caught up in their own labels and titles? If so, this is the band for you. They can play just about any style of ska out there, and they can play it to perfection. These guys can rock! Get this CD! I'll give it an A. Don't pass it up!

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