Month: November 2016

Peg And The Rejected
4th Wave Out Now

If you’re a fan of ska music, reggae, and of course punk rock, then you’re going to love this latest release from Peg and The Rejected. With the release of “4th Wave”, the band has put their names on the short list of the best ska and punk bands yet again. Imagine the power of Rancid with the precision of The Skatalites and a little bit of Two Tone thrown into the mix. The energy found within the tracks here represents a new movement for the band, formerly recognized as The Dingees.

A Mixed Bag of Ska

I throw the term ska around a lot, but honestly, that’s the best way to describe a majority of the songs. This becomes especially true with the use of horns throughout, especially on “Sound So Soothing”, and “Sing It Out At Street Level”. However, there is a lot more here. The bass lines and the focus on rocksteady really pushes the envelope a little, leaving the banner of just “ska” and turning into reggae and a more two tone approach that you’d expect from the UK. This is very evident on “Language of Lies” which is great turned up to 11, with the bass line and horns mixing a reggae and jazz element that you won’t find with a lot of mainstream music today.

A Dancing Record

Just when you think that the boys are going to go soft with their mix, the band puts together some dancing songs including “Still Don’t Know How To Party”, which has that stellar punk/ska mix that you’d expect from the third wave ska movement that made so many rich. That’s not all, through the latter half of the release, you get a lot of great points of interest, with lyrics that are very much political at times. There’s a lot to this record, and while I say it’s danceable, it’s far more than that. It’s a throwback at times, it’s a forward leaning record, and it really does encompass the sound that many bands keep trying to pull off, but fail. My hope is that this record lands on the same map as The Slackers “Red Light”, and The Pietasters “Awesome Mixtape #6”, because it’ definitely in there as far as mixing punk, ska, reggae, and even a little rocksteady, if you ask me.

Star Rating For Peg And The Rejected “4th Wave”

I wish I had a lot of money. I wish I had a record label, or power within the music industry. Peg and The Rejected has put out one of the best ska/punk records of 2016, and I can only hope that people actually listen up. You have to give these guys credit. “4th Wave” is a stellar record, recorded with a great sound, focused and rejuvenated with a sound that is refreshing. You can’t go wrong with this one, which is why I’m giving it a 4 out of 5. It’s one of my personal favorite records of 2016, and I have one of the best jobs in the world, freelance blogger and idiot. (ghost writer actually)

You can pick up “4th Wave” via Amazon.com by clicking here, it’s well worth your time.

Record Reviews

Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher 2014 Poster

I read “Foxcatcher” and reviewed it here. I then saw the documentary. I now have finally saw the movie. The movie “Foxcatcher” came out in 2014. It tells the story of John du Pont and his obsession for Olympic wrestling. The plot is based on the real life story and somewhat similar to the book of the same name. The overall story in “Foxcatcher” follows 3 major characters and their push towards building a championship Olympic team on the du Pont farm, which was an 800 acre estate.

The Cast Nails It

Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo absolutely blew me away. These guys put on an incredible clinic of acting. Carell’s character specifically was incredible. He played the mannerisms, speech, and overall anger to a hilt. I was impressed by how incredible these guys acting was. Tatum and Ruffalo as brothers was also incredible, from the faces to the movements, to the simple speech and patterns, I was blown away completely.

The Slow Burning Fire

Another element to the movie that I loved was the pacing. This was paced effortlessly, slowly, and throughout incredible visual style. You get a sense for how big the du Pont family estate was. But you also get a depth of character from each person, and how their daily lives were changed. You have mundane elements, and you have grandiose elements altogether. There’s a beauty here, and the acting makes it even better. The production team nailed the visual design flow of the movie, and the pacing was grand for me. I loved the way the movie took time to build the tension and final moments.

Star Rating For “Foxcatcher”

I’m giving “Foxcatcher” a 4 out of 5. There is so much to love here. The production, the drama, the tension and the ending all fit so well. This goes hand in hand with the book, and the documentary. This story is so larger than life, and yet it’s so simple at times. You are drawn into a world of wrestling, and that becomes the metaphor for life you need at a time like today. Life is a metaphor for sports and vice versa in many ways. I loved this movie. It’s an incredible movie with a lot of subtle elements, and great overall acting. I give it a 4 out of 5, you should see it. I saw it via Blu Ray and the visuals were amazing. Carell is haunting here. Great movie.

“Foxcatcher” is available of Blu Ray by clicking here via Amazon online.

Did you see “Foxcatcher”? Drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

Movie Reviews

Armageddon Massive LP
The Most Underrated Ska-Punk Record

I was 15 years old when “Armageddon Massive” hit my stereo. I’m the product of “Christian” culture, but had a mean anarchist streak within my life. While most kids just shook their heads in agreement to whatever the church and school was telling them, I had a lot of questions and was reading a lot more books than even the teachers. You couldn’t tell me that there was a black and white element to anything, and that’s where I found myself consuming as much ska, punk, and hardcore records. That included anything from DIY, independent labels, and of course the sound coming through Southern California. I wished I lived in Orange County, but hey, I wasn’t anywhere near there. I lived near the beach, Venice, and well, The Dingees released a record that should’ve warranted them an opening slot on Rancid’s tour through the mid 1990s. But they got stuck with the moniker of being a “Christian” band. In those days, I bought anything and everything labeled ska, punk, hardcore, metal, reggae, and my record collection was deep for a teenager. Every dime I had went to records. I lost them all in a divorce, but hey, here I am waxing poetic on music again.

Christian Bands Don’t Always Play Worship Music

The moniker of being a Christian band meant that the majority of the musical audience immediately thought worship music, or lyrics that were overtly preachy. That’s not what The Dingees pushed at all. Even though they may have been within the label mates that did, and they were booked across churches and shows that were entertainment for Christians, they had a lot more to their lyrical onslaught, and sound. In fact, if you were to rip that label away from “Armageddon Massive”, you would think that this was the little brother of bands like The Slackers, The English Beat, and Operation Ivy. That’s what you hear with the chaos that comes at you with “Ghetto Box Smash”, only to pump the breaks into a more Trojan Records ska sound with a bit of polish that was coming through the late 1990s studio reggae and rock sound.

Two Tone Glory With A Punk Rock Swing

As you play through the 11 tracks and even the hidden track found on The Dingees “Armageddon Massive”, you are either going to love them or hate them. Most of my friends at the time were idiots, and only listened to a handful of bands. They included Project 86, Stavesacre, and Living Sacrifice. I was the odd man out because on my walls were posters of Reel Big Fish, Hepcat, Sublime, Hatebreed, Pennywise, Blink 182, Mxpx, and of course a poster I ripped from a magazine of “Armageddon Massive”. I was the only person in my crew that liked ska, and to this day, feel that The Dingees didn’t get their fair share of the glory of the late 1990s ska boom that others were getting. As you listen to the tracks, you get a sense for the kaleidoscope of talent that Pegleg, Bean Hernandez (Unashamed!), Jeff Holmes, Ethan Luck, and the guests put on this record. If you’re a musical historian, you know all about ska, reggae, two tone, punk, and the mix of sounds that went through Jamaica to the UK and the United States through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. This album, “Armageddon Massive”, has an old soul. Listen to tracks like “Workin’ Man’s Blues”, “Betrayal”, “Carry On With The Countdown”, and “Deadman” and juxtapose them with the best from Trojan Records, and you’ll see that this record has roots.

Star Rating For “Armageddon Massive”

I still maintain that The Dingees did not get the marketing push that they deserved. They were also mired to an extent with the “Christian” moniker. Had this been released by Hellcat Records, Epitaph Records, and not BEC Recordings, we would be having a different discussion. This band has so much to offer, and despite their 1998 offering, the band showcased a finely tuned recording of ska, punk, reggae, and dub on par with some of the best works from the late 1990s. I give “Armageddon Massive” a 4 out of 5. If you’re not a fan of ska, reggae, or punk, then this record will not fit in your musical collection. However, if you’re like me, and you enjoys this style, then by all means, this is a cut above a lot of the records you probably have heard 100 times before. Let this one sink in, and you’ll be blown away by what could’ve been, and what currently still breathes life.

You can pick up The Dingees “Armageddon Massive” fairly inexpensively by clicking here.

Did you pick up “Armageddon Massive”? I know I bought it 3 different times in my life. Drop me a comment.

Record Reviews