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April 15, 2024

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Squad Five-O
What I Believe (Bulletproof Music)

By: Alex Steininger

When I first read the promotional pack for this band I noticed they were a "Christian ska" band. I was very reluctant to listen to it at first. But I put it in, expecting to hate the CD, but it was amazing. They take ska-punk to a dynamic level. Not on the same level as Operation Ivy, but who is? Maybe punk-ska would be a better way to describe the energy on this CD. Punk anthems about unity, that also throws in some ska for your skankin' pleasures.

The CD starts off with "The Youth (we are.)" A very fast intro, and then it busts into some skankable guitar beats, and powerful lyrics about unity. Although I believe in religion and music being too different things that should never cross paths in the punk or ska fields, with beats like this I can put that theory aside for now. Besides, the music has a positive message about unity, and I really respect that. "Differences" is a very short, soft song, with a nice skankin' beat to it. Sway or dance, you can do it all. This song will put a smile on anyone's face. "These Are The Days" is another fast paced punk tune that cuts into a nice ska beat in-between the song. Start moshing, and finish off skankin' your feet off. Ah, what a life. "Our State Flag Sucks" is a song with negativity, right? After all, look at the title. You can tell from the title they don't like their state flag. But wait, the song is a very positive song about ending racism, and how their state flag sucks because it is a "banner of hate." More applause to these guys. Not only do they move in a direction pioneered by Operation Ivy, they also lyrically move in that direction. You must respect that. "I Won't Forget You Baby" starts out with a nice punk intro, and in classic fashion they bust into some nice ska. But they always pick it back up and throw some more fast punk at you. But don't worry, they switch off regularly, and it sounds nice, and allows you to have a great time. "Kids Today" is a forty second fast, punk song that blasts the kids today for doing what they want, believing what they want, and "screwing" up their lives. Well, here I think they have it wrong. Not only are they kids themselves, but they carry the "I'm religious, I'm better than you" attitude with them, and try to knock around a stereotype that all kids are evil. Well, maybe they should talk to more of their peers and realize that not all of them are like that. I've met some great kids out there that are solid, and I am proud to call the future. Maybe this band has been blinded by religion? Don't get me wrong, I believe, but forcing others and telling them that they are "evil" because they have their own belief system is flat out wrong. Sorry guys, I love your music, and your great blend of ska and punk is very good, but when you approach society with lyrics like this, you'll only end up getting caught up in your own clich?s.

Maybe I'm a close minded fool when it comes to religion breaking it's way into modern music, or maybe I'm not? Who knows, and who cares? All I can say is that musically this band is great, and lyrically they take a great approach trying to preach unity which I love and respect them for it. But when you try to convert people with your music, and not convert people to be fans of your music, there is something wrong with the music. I'll give this CD a B. Sorry guys, you just came on too strong for me.

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