Tag Archives: ska

Supervillains Show Review

The Supervillains Show Review – Beachside Tavern

Supervillains Show ReviewThey eased into their set with the smooth synth-driven, reggae-flavored “I’m Leaving, and the crowd was immediately swaying along to the music. But, by the end of the following song, the feverishly paced “The Pit,” they were raucously bouncing across the packed floor screaming “Fuck You.” This was my first Supervillains show and ten minutes into the set, I quickly realized that I was in for a hell of a ride.

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Meet Orlando’s Sweet Cambodia

Sweet Cambodia is a new Orlando rock band on the cusp of bigger things. Their music is distinctively likeable and very hard to categorize. It’s fun music with a definite Florida feel that could best be described as funky-laced ska.

Sweet cambodia tasty

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Clear As Black And White

Gary Lazer Eyes are a talented quartet and intriguing new band from Melbourne, FL, who need to be on your new music radar.  They just released Black And White, their debut EP – Good news for local rock fans, as it’s a refreshing serving of distinctive rock ‘n roll.

Gary Lazer Eyes 2015 Florida Music Festival
Gary Lazer Eyes at the 2015 Florida Music Festival

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A Sublime Evening in Tampa

A Sublime Evening in Tampa

“Summertime and the living’s easy, and Bradley’s on the microphone with Ras M.G.” say the lyrics to Sublime’s 1996 hit “Doin’ Time”. Fast forward almost twenty years, and neither Bradley Nowell, nor Marshall Goodman, a.k.a Ras M.G. were on the microphone, but the sound they created, and the mellow vibes that go along with it were in the air at Tampa’s Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on August 14th.

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Radical Something’s Josh Cocktail Hallbauer Interview

Josh Cocktail Hallbauer Interview

An interview with Radical Something’s frontman

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When this talented California band ripped through Orlando a few weeks ago, we cornered vocalist Josh Hallbauer who is more commonly known as Josh Cocktail for an interview. He shared his thoughts on their unique brand of rock, what drives their performances, and what to expect at their entertaining shows.

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Radical Something Entertains HOB-Orlando


 

Something Radical on the Indie Rock Scene

I’ll admit that twenty-four hours ago, I had no idea who the hell Radical Something was. I liked their name, thought they had a cool logo, was intrigued by their bio, and honestly just as interested in seeing their tour mates Matisyahu.

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After witnessing their blistering forty-five minute set, I was an instant fan. This California trio (turned quintet for this tour) just dripped with energy, charisma and talent, and were an absolute blast on stage. Their music was fresh, creative and fun, and it didn’t take long for them to win the crowd over. If you see them touring through your area, they’re a can’t miss live act that needs to be on your radar.

If I had to categorize their music, I’d call it Indie Surf ska with a touch of hip hop. I spoke to lead vocalist Josh Hallbauer (Josh Cocktail) before the show and asked him to describe the band’s sound, “The music is like laid back California reggae. We’re into connecting with the crowd. Our show is based off of how we feed off of the crowd, it’s energetic for sure.” And, from the minute they hit the stage, it was clear to see he was true to his word. (My full interview with Cocktail will be published here in a few weeks)

From the first notes of “Escape,” they were constantly interactive with the crowd. All three primary members share vocal duties; Cocktail had the highest voice, and boasted a broad range, while Alex Lagemann (Loggy), and Michael Costanzo (Big Red) were a hit more rap influenced. The voices were all quite different, but they complemented each other and blended together nicely throughout the show.

The one constant throughout the ten song set was that the band members were constantly upbeat. (See full setlist below) They bounced across the stage, weaving between each other as they raced around deftly trading off vocals. It was a bit of cohesive chaos that was just a blast to watch. Loggy on guitar and Big Red on bass spent most of the show playing their respective instruments, and they were backed by talented touring musicians on guitar and drums.

Alex Loggy Lageman of Radical Something at HOB-Orlando
Alex Loggy Lageman of Radical Something at HOB-Orlando

(We will post more photos on our Facebook page in the next few days)

An early highlight of the show was “Cheap Drink,” the first song of the night that prominently featured all three vocalists. It was a raucous party anthem that also featured drum and guitar solos. By that point in the set, the entire crowd was smiling, dancing, and answering to the band’s every desire. They followed with a killer version of their new offering “Cali Get Down.” The crowd loved it, happily singing along “What Up Mother Fucker?” in a song that I felt was the most entertaining of the evening. <Grab Cali Get Down on iTunes>

They slowed the tempo down a bit for a few songs featuring excellent vocals from Cocktail, and then it was back to the party for a frenetic finish.

Perhaps hearkening back to Cocktail’s undergrad time at Florida Atlantic, or the brief period when they recorded a few tracks in Southern Florida, these California guys easily bonded with their new friends from the East Coast. A few quotes from the stage that captured the vibe:

  • “We’re fucking exhausted but you people are our energy.”
  • “We appreciate your love and energy”
  • “You guys make it real”

The beauty of those quotes? It showed a true symbiotic relationship between band and fans, and it was genuine.  These guys absolutely appreciated and were humbled by the rollicking crowd, and the feeling was reciprocated.

Oh, and Matisyahu? They were okay, but I left early as they didn’t hold a candle to their more creative, energetic opening act.

Rock On!
Cretin

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Setlist
Escape
California
Say Yes
Cheap Drink
Freedom
Cali Get Down
Pure
Step Right Up
Sun Down
Be Easy

 

Mustard Plug – Can’t Contain it

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Upcoming Mustard Plug Florida Dates
Thursday, January 23, at Will’s Pub in Orlando Click here for tickets
Friday, January 24, at Churchills in Miami
Saturday, January 25,  at Loosey’s in Gainesville Click here for tickets
Sunday, January 26, at Beachside Tavern in New Smyrna Beach

Mustard Plug – Can’t Contain It Album Review

I think it’s important every now and then to stop whatever you’re doing, raise your red solo cup, and salute a band in pursuit of party. Mustard Plug’s new album Can’t Contain It certainly encourages this notion.

The album comes across as sort of a motivational speech to dance. Can’t Contain It starts off with a musical kick to the face as the horns in “We Came to Party” hypnotize the listener into a head bobbing, arm flailing, irresistible urge to dance. Not since the Ramones 1976 “Blitzkrieg Bop” have the words “hey, ho” had such feeling behind them. As the chorus echoes these hallowed words, the listener is jolted with energy. The first time I heard “We Came to Party” I was as encouraged to get out of my chair and dance as I was to get out of my chair and chuck it across the room. But, I think it’s this uncontainable burst of emotions extracted from the song that tips a hat to the band’s prominent punk side; while the band’s small but devoted brass section reminds the listener that Mustard Plug intertwines its punk roots with ska vines.

However, Can’t Contain It isn’t all fun and games, as a few songs on the album play to the band’s darker more serious side. While my favorite songs on the album are the thrashy ones like “We Came to Party” and “Aye Aye Aye;” it’s the more solemn songs on the album that suggest Mustard Plug has spent the last seven years since their previous album release, maturing as a band. It’s easy to party, if that’s what you’re good at, and Mustard Plug’s last seven albums are a testament to this. Yet, it is their latest album that proves they’ve come to stand for something more than just party music.

The second to last song on the album, “Perfect Plan” is evidence of this truth. The lyrics in this song are a testament to Mustard Plug’s successful attempt to reach their audience on a deeper level. “Should we start before we end” and “will we make it to the summer” are two questions posed in a song about a relationship that doesn’t quite pan out the way two lovers thought it might. Clocking in at just over two minutes, the song is short, it’s sweet, it’s relatable, but above all else, it’s honest. It’s tough to write a song as honest as “Perfect Plan,” both melodically and lyrically. Yet, it’s even tougher to convey the kind of feeling prevalent in lead vocalist, David Kirchgessner’s voice. It’s rare to find a vocalist as seemingly invested in each and every song as Kirchgessner.

Die-hard fans of Mustard Plug will be pleasantly surprised while new listeners will be hooked. I highly recommend getting a group of friends together, hitting the nearest bar, and blasting Mustard Plug’s newest album Can’t Contain It. You might dance, you might get in a bar fight, or you might even just shed a tear. No matter how you feel after you’ve listen to the album, one things for sure, you know you’ve felt something.

-Joey Farese

Upcoming Mustard Plug Florida Dates
Thursday, January 23, at Will’s Pub in Orlando Click here for tickets
Friday, January 24, at Churchills in Miami
Saturday, January 25,  at Loosey’s in Gainesville Click here for tickets
Sunday, January 26, at Beachside Tavern in New Smyrna Beach

 

The Bastard Suns Shine in Sanford


I knew I liked these guys the moment I saw their tagline: “a reggae infused punk rock sound with a little bit o’ Irish whiskey on top.” I’ve always felt that reggae and Irish rock were a perfect pairing (see New York’s Black 47 for a prime example) and was immediately intrigued by The Bastard Suns.

I went into the night unfamiliar with the band and their music and failed to realize that the crazy guys jumping on and off the stage for impromptu cameos during Knock-Out’s opening set were the effervescent members of The Bastard Suns.  It was apparent early in the night that the quartet out of Atlanta love rock music and love performing.

Their nearly two hour set at Sanford’s cool West End Trading Company was a raucous energetic show that had the crowd dancing, bouncing. moshing and singing along throughout.  The bands music is rough and edgy yet amazingly precise.  They’re excellent musicians offering up a superb mix of reggae, ska and punk, all with a hearty Irish twist.  It’s a damn good mix and an absolute blast to listen to.

The Bastard Suns at West End
The Bastard Suns at West End in Sanford

“Start A Party” epitomized the band’s sound – a rollicking, feverish onslaught of fast-paced punk ska, that was performed perfectly.  The musicians are all excellent and absolutely shined on this track, which is driven by rapid fire vocals and a powerful bass solo. “Wasted” was another crowd favorite that was accompanied by the band doing a shot of Jameson’s with a pickle juice chaser.  The drink sounds nasty, while the song was nasty in a good way.  Most of their selections were originals, including the guitar powered “We’d Go For Broke (But We’re Already There)” which they played for a member of The West End’s staff.

In addition to their excellent originals, they played a few cover songs, all stamped with their own unique Bastard Suns spin.  “Maggie May” was offered with a unique twist and we heard a punkified version of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life.” One of the highlights of the show was a tremendous version of “Soulshine,” which was introduced as a song from Georgia’s greatest band, The Allman Brothers. Here’s a Youtube version of the band performing it live.  Good, good stuff.

Knock-Out, a trio from Riverside, California warmed the stage up and offered up a powerful set of aggressive punk with a touch of ska. As noted earlier, they had a great rapport with The Bastard Suns and shared the stage several times throughout the evening.

UNRB, a local ska band out of St. Petersburg was a great discovery.  This group of six was an absolute blast.  They offered up a fun blend of crisp ska, in a line-up that didn’t include a guitarist.  Bass, drums, a three piece brass section, and an electric ukulele – an unusual approach, but it was fantastically fun, and highly recommended.

For those of you who have not made it out to West End, take a look at their concert calendar and make a trip out to the Sanford waterfront.  They offer up great local and national acts in a cozy local rock room.

Rock On!
Cretin