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1. Black Square
Black Square are a reggae band based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their name is in reference to an art piece by Russian artist, Kasimir Malevich (read about it on their website HERE). Influenced by bands like Operation Ivy and Bad Brains, Black Square has been consistently releasing albums and playing shows since the early 2000's. With four albums out (End the Cycle, One Glass of Water, Onward, Black Square), they've kept with progressing musically with each passing release. My favorite so far is their self titled record (read my thoughts about it on the Top 25 of 2011 list HERE). My second favorite album is Onward. Featured on that album are an upgraded version of the song, Fallin' (first appearing on End the Cycle) and an Operation Ivy cover of, Take Warning. Also, on the song, Long Road Home, is a brief excerpt of The Tantra Monsters' song, Crackhouse. Black Square's song on this episode is titled, The Ego, off of, Onward.
2. Nino Zombi
Nino Zombi are a six-piece punk-ska band based in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Mexico City, Nino Zombi formed in 2003 and since then released one album (Sembrando El Terror), a couple EP's (Zombie Army and The Undead), a split and have been featured on numerous compilations. One of their more recent compilation appearances is on the Aceh: 10 Days Strong Mixtape, released by Unknown Records and Riot Ska Records (the compilation is up for free download on Bandcamp HERE). They are currently writing and recording for a possible new album. Nino Zombi's song on this episode is titled, Human Race Unite, off of, The Undead EP, which was also featured on the 10 Days Strong Mixtape compilation.
3. Tuesday After School
Tuesday After School are a seven-piece ska band based in Las Vegas, Nevada. They currently have just two songs streaming (listen to the songs and download them on Reverbnation HERE). One song is an original, Skankasaurus Rex, and the other is a cover of the Joan Jett song, Bad Reputation. Both tunes showcase some really energetic third wave ska, colorful melodies, and positive vibes. Hope to hear more new tunes from this band in the future. They are currently competing for a spot on the Ernie Ball Stage at this year's Warped Tour (you can vote for this band HERE). Tuesday After School's song on this episode is titled, Skankasaurus Rex.
4. Codename: Rocky
Codename: Rocky was a ska band from Orange County, California. They formed in 1997 and played their last show in 2004. The band only released two albums, No Time To Waste (2000) and Infinity (2001), and one demo. Their tunes always featured big and bright melodies from the horn section, fast beats and power chords, and loads of harmony. It was always skankin' good time at a Codename: Rocky show (I've only seen them play once though, Ska Summit 2003). Since their last show as a band, new projects have formed which include The Owl in the Daylight and LA on a Friday Night. Just recently, Codename: Rocky announced a reunion show along with For Pete's Sake and My Superhero. Details for that can be found HERE. Codename: Rocky's song on this episode is titled, My Boss Sucks, off of, No Time to Waste (watch the music video for this song HERE).
5. Ghetto Blaster
Ghetto Blaster are a four-piece punk band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their music is a mix of punk, reggae, ska and hip-hop elements. They are still a fairly new band, but have all ready released one EP and more recently, a full-length album. In 2011, the band released a promo for their album, Think For Yourself, with four-songs on it (check out the song, GTA, on Episode 29). Not too long ago, the band released the remainder of the album, totaling 11 songs. It's an excellent album saturated with fast punk, sweet reggae jams and wonderful harmonies. The opening track, The Art of Judging a Book, starts off with nice two-guitar harmonies later building up into a fast track of power chords and skank-filled melodies. Following is the song, Day of Defeat, which opens with a tight bassline. And if you listen closely, some interesting use of electronics towards the end of the track. The bass work throughout the album is crispy and great sounding, lots of movement and fun to listen to. Some nice keyboard work appears on a few of the tracks and nicely blended into the rest of the instrumentals. The only song with a horn line is on, Never Alone, which features an excellent trumpet line. It's a very nice touch (and sound) to the somewhat bittersweet theme of the track. One of the more heavier sounding songs on the album is Strapped W Bombs, an almost hardcore tune with an upbeat opening, but a very aggressive closing (and nice guitar solo). Their lyrics cover a range of topics, sung in aggressive tones, but with a passionate voice (one of my favorite lines: She needed an escape/She found a music called Ska took away the pain/Now she's getting low and ready to go/Skank a little higher now at the Ghetto Blaster show (Never Alone)). Think For Yourself is a great release full of awesome punk and ska tunes that consistently move forward throughout the album. Ghetto Blaster's song on this episode is titled, Never Alone, off of, Think For Yourself.