Todd Morse – Screaming Babies
Similar artists: Rancid, The Clash, The Specials
Rating: Skate Punk, Pop Punk
Punk-rockers get a bad rap from the rest of the world. They’ve always been portrayed as aggressive by mainstream media. They’ve always been depicted as complainers.
But, after all, not all punks are as unthankful for their circumstances. Most of them, for one thing, are allowed to live in well-developed countries. And they understand the luxury involved in comparison to most other places in the world.
Secondly, maybe, more importantly, they like to party. They always need fresh songs delivered in a familiar tone. As it happens, most of the danceable punk songs involve a brush with ska.
Todd Morse’s Screaming Babies is punk-ska party music. It’s a tune about being allowed to voice displeasure. The Offspring bassist makes sure to utilize the kind of groove that gets boots flying off the floor and hands waving in the air. It’s enough to reconsider your stance on punk rockers and, next time, accept that invitation to their party.
Nights Like Thieves – Distraction
Genre: Punk, Pop Punk, Alternative Rock
If I’ve learned anything from reviewing, listening to, and watching bands over the is, it is this: Don’t take breaks from making music! Your mojo might not return. Once an artist or a band has found a sound with which they are happy, they need to press on like an army desperate to capture the flag. What they’ve captured is fragile and fleeting that it can be extinguished at any time.
This is particularly true when it comes to fast-paced rock music. If you need any proof, just listen to the most famous bands that reform a few decades after their initial dissolution. While most of them are able to play their instruments better, few of these bands are able to capture the same level of intensity. Fewer still are able to tempt their muse to provide them with material that can stand alongside their best work.
Night Like Thieves’ Distraction sounds like pop-punk music made by a band that is desperate not to let their wheels grind to a halt for a moment. This is music dominated by youthful, emotional energy, but these are also the sounds of a band caught in full swing. If they manage to keep going to not let themselves fall behind, this is one pop-punk group that could be going places.