Thursday, March 17, 2011
New Riot - Blood, Sweat & Beers EP
This must be ska-punk week at Idle and the Bear, or maybe it's British week. We just reviewed Lisabi, the amazing ska-punk band from Brazil, and then the next day we reviewed Caves, the awesome pop-punk band from England. And now, we're reviewing New Riot's remastered EP "Blood, Sweat, & Beers". Which, if you haven't figured it out by now, is a ska-punk band from over in the UK. With an awesome EP title, and a band name that promises excitement, we'll just go right into this fucking review and get my ass out of your way so you can just go listen to them and enjoy yourself without the stress of having to decode these letters and words and whatever else goes into the frivolous art of reading.
The band immediately sounds like Less Than Jake (no, ska assholes, that's not an insult in my eyes), and don't do much to change my view of them this way. Other than the use of an organ in the song, which just makes them every ska band that isn't LTJ, right? I think the biggest comparison to LTJ is really in the vocals more than anything. Instrumentally, they're pretty similar to LTJ, but also similar to RX Bandits and Edna's Goldfish. Well, once the snotty sounding "na na nas" kick in, you start to think they're mocking Streetlight Manifesto or something, ha. Which, hopefully they are. Because somebody has to do that shit professionally, you know?
The horns for these songs are executed pretty excellently, and the recording quality is well above par. This is some high end shit, which doesn't always bode well with ska-punk, but definitely suits this British outfit. I mean, the quality goes along with the fact that I think these guys are probably a big deal in their local ska scene...but it feels like it's in a smarmy sort of way. As in like, they're a big deal, but way too aware of it, so they play on it too much, or something. It's offputting to assholes like me, but they definitely merit recognition, because this stuff is really infectious and pretty thrilling. The song "I'm So Sane So Shut It" is like perfect in every aspect I've been griping about. It sounds enpowered and professional, while being incredible catchy and like the perfect dance music. Each fo these songs rocks this feel petty well.
The third song "Feel the Burn" comes on, and I'm sitting here thinking, "yeah, LTJ pretty much covers this as far as who they sound like goes." So maybe I'm done making any other musical comparisons, or something. Other than the fact that I haven't mentioned how much this song sounds like Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish's old side project The Forces of Evil, yet. Because it sounds a lot like that, but stronger. This band has a RBF feel in general, too. They sound like late 90s ska in the states, but with reinforced vigor and energy. It's basically like, the little guys can release an album that sounds like the giants released it...it's not against the law or anything.
The last song is about being high or some shit. It's really weird and definitely dials in the RBF feel to a new extreme that I thought impossible. I mean, not even The Get Ups could pull this RBF feel off, even with their singer dressing like Aaron and having thick sideburns. It's not a bad song; it's just also way too umm...whatever it is, it's way too much of it for me. I do like these guys a lot though, and I'll definitely see them if they play over here anytime soon, and would definitely want to have my ska band play with them. Just go get a hold of this EP over at their merch site and try it out for yourself.
Actually, nevermind. It's sold out. Just find it by your other means until they post it on bandcamp or something like that. You can find them over at facebook, however, and you should just try out their new full length anyway. After visiting their merch site, I now know that they actually sold 2,500 copies of this while touring with Reel Big Fish. They sold 2,500 copies of an album that sounds like RBF while touring with RBF.