Release Date: March 30th, 2010
Record Label: Paper + Plastick Records
Genre: Pop Punk Ska
Stationed firmly in the bosom of the blossoming label that is Paper + Plastick Records, We Are The Union have so graciously adapted a pop-punk ska genre for their recently released effort “Great Leaps Forward.” Normally it is my civic duty to keep as many people away from the demoralizing sounds of ska that i can, but seeing that this isn’t a bunch of unabashed fat guys wearing fedoras and vans, skipping on stage, I think I can let this slide.
While we’re on the subject, the thing that I really appreciate about “Great Leaps Forward” from the very start is how it doesn’t drown itself in horned instruments, in fact you barely notice they are there. We Are The Union it seems take a cue from pop-punk veterans like New Found Glory and recent up and comers Polar Bear Club, to make fast paced, addictive punk songs complete with blunt shouting vocals, melodic fretwork and surging drums — only resorting to a horn or two in place of another set of strings. Now on the other hand, if you absolutely love ska and you played trombone in your high school band you were a loser you will love the abundant horns on tracks like “Strange, Slow and Old” and “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”
Instruments aside, lead singer Reed Wolcott‘s vocals switch between shouts that are tad rigid and smoother teamed vox with trombone player and enormous-gauge wearing singer, Matt Belanger. The latter of which adds welcome harmony to what would be a foray in familiar path beating if it weren’t there. You will start getting hooked on the swift punk tracks such as “This Is a Farewell Kiss, You Dog” and the instant classic album ender “Be Kind Rewind,” both of which rely on sliding melodic guitars and nonstop percussion — as well as ending far too quickly and leave me asking for an encore.
So in total we have an energetic pop punk band that has a trombone player, and not a ska band. The key distinction, along with technical guitars and infectious hooks is what made me enjoy We Are The Union‘s latest album “Great Leaps Forward” the most. Other things considered its infectious punk and harmony make it par for the musical course. It’s good, not great. But the effort did keep me listening for a while. And not many bands labeled ska can attest to that. Especially not ones with trombone players who have fist sized ear lobe holes. ~Staff
1. We’re All Dead
2. Where’d You Go, Psycho Boy
3. Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic
4. Glaring Teeth
5. Strange, Slow And Old
6. We Don’t Care If Yesterday Burns, Stoke Up The Fire
7. What We Have Here, Is A Failure To Communicate
8. Five Out Of Five Kids Who Kill Love Slayer
9. Start Over Starting Over
10. This Is A Farewell Kiss, You Dog
11. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
12. One Million Motors
13. Curtain Calls
14. Be Kind, Rewind
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.