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June 22, 2024

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Voodoo Glow Skulls
The Band Geek Mafia (Epitaph Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Those crazy ska-punker's are back with a vengeance. With their last album (LOS BAILE DE...) easily taking the credit for worst Voodoo album, THE BANK GEEK MAFIA proves that LOS BAILE was just a fluke, and they still have it. With fourteen songs to feast on, Voodoo fans can once again be proud of their band's latest work, and for anyone that hasn't heard Voodoo Glow Skulls, this album will give you something to want to check out.

A quick note on the guitar, the drums blasting down, and a powerful bass kick everything off on "Human Pinata." Shooting into the song with instant energy, the horns give everything a blast into the ska-punk realm. Quickly converting, the guitar begins to play a very distorted upbeat, while the rhythm section remains powerful. After everything is settled, the vocals quickly enter. Giving the song a rough touch, the vocals help define the song. They may take awhile to get used to, but once you do, the vocals blend nicely with the music. Both are loud and brutal, seemingly one couldn't happen without the other. "Love Letter" begins with some heavy punk guitar, but within a few seconds the drums come in and give the song all its life. Hard hitting, and very hyperactive, they give the song the proper introduction it needs. Soon the vocals enter in, giving the song a bit of melody, while the drums keep flexing their muscles and give the song the punch that is needed to get everything functioning correctly. Throw in an intense bass and you have a straight ahead punk number that will get you moving, jumping, and slamming into things without even a blink of the eye. More of that thick upbeat, heavily distorted, helps line "Walkin' Frustration." Deep horns help push the song into a danceable frenzy, but don't be tricked, this song may have a bit of a danceable quality to it, but it is punk right down to the core. The vocals help give the song some melody, helping to lighten the mood a bit and let you relax during some of the calmer parts of the song. But don't relax too long, with all the intensity you won't be able to sit down for too long. The title track, THE BAND GEEK MAFIA, just keeps the goods coming. Powerful horns blast through the number, giving it a lighter feeling and helping to accent the ska influences in the band, while the music is loud and fast, just the way punk rock was meant to be. The vocals are harsh and fast, sometimes to the point where you can't understand what is being said, which also plays into the their dominant side of punk rock. "Hieroglyphics" is the same way: powerful horns complimenting the punk rock, a heavily distorted upbeat thrown in here and there, and an overly-hyper band working the listener until they can't move anymore. Ending with "Stranded In The Jungle," they close out with a jazzy-punk number. Very unexpected, especially after listening to the previous thirteen tracks, but still refreshing. Showing there is more to them than punk (and traces of ska), this song closes out the CD with a message: with the Voodoo Glow Skulls, you never know what to expect, so keep your ears open and have some fun.

I'll admit, when I started listening to this CD, I thought it was going to be just like the last CD. . .a mess thrown together and called music. Boy, was I surprised! Hard-hitting punk rock, elements of ska thrown in, and just a barrel of fun. Don't pass on this one, it's mighty enjoyable. I'll give it an A-.

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