There'll Be Lots of Hard Times Along The Way (Moon Ska Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Rude Bones is a ska-punk band from Japan. Not the usual type of music you find on Moon Ska, as they almost always stay away from the punk spin on ska (unless you're talking about their new label, Ska Satellite Records.) But it seems they're hands are big enough to extend and help out a foreign band, which I think is excellent. Helping others who wouldn't have the chance otherwise is a grand idea.
The CD starts off with "Where Are You Now?" With a lot of punk and ska bands writing songs about getting drunk, Rude Bones decided to actually touch a fairly political subject. Dealing with mothers who abandon their children, they mix in sharp horn lines, punk blows via the guitar, hard hitting bass lines, and a constant tap on the drums. Mixing in all these elements, they not only write a song that should be listened to lyrically, but they also write a song that WILL be listened to due to it's very danceable nature and it's ability to move you to jump up and down. "Something Has Changed In Some Way" gets you dancing from the very beginning. The upbeat is played at mid-speed, giving you a nice pace to get up and dance with. It also coverts to punk riffs when it hits the chorus, giving the song a deeper feeling and a darker edge. The horns always keep a fairly gentle edge in the background as they come in with their quick blows and energetic rejuvenation. The music also calms down a bit, and the horns take over. Played over a nice upbeat on the guitar, the jazz influenced horn section keeps the song strong and interesting. "Bitch" is a pretty generic ska-punk tune. The lyrics are pretty sloppy, and repeat themselves a lot. The happy upbeat, played in a style that you can dance to, contrasts the angry lyrics. The song is a mess, musically offering a good time, and lyrically pissed off at a love gone bad. The punk riffs go really good with the bitter love story, however, but the ska thrown in doesn't. The horns keeping the peace in the background are soft and gentle, but they should be fast and loud, giving the song a deep twist. The contrast from music and lyrics just didn't go over well with me. "Alcohol" brings the stereotypical punk song to the front. After a forty second intro of nothing much at all, the music picks up. The song is another dud, jumping from really soft melodies to a loud, but slow, chorus. "Now That My Love Is Gone" brings us something new. They slow down the pace, and make a pure ska tune. A traditional-like type song, they prove they can do the third wave ska as good as they can do the ska-punk fusion. Really slow and gentle, the song isn't the best, but it's a good song. "Inside Concrete" ends the CD with some hardcore. Loud and fast, the song is pure hardcore, and very sloppy at that. The quality isn't the best either. A very disappointing way to end a CD with such promise.
Rude Bones definitely have a future in the U.S. At this stage they seem a bit raw and immature musically. Don't get me wrong, they have some pretty good stuff with a great message, but the high points are drowned out by mediocre points. A few low points also make themselves very present in the music, giving the high points that much less ground. I'll give this CD a B-. The band has a lot of potential, so a few tours and some more practices should solidify them.
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