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May 20, 2024

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Chumps on Parade (Asian Man Records)

By: Alex Steininger

MU330 bring their energetic ska with a dose of punk to your ears with the re-release of their second album, Chumps on Parade. And with eighteen tracks, you know your going to be skankin' for awhile.

The CD starts off with "Wide Awake." Some punk-like riffs kick off the songs, and then they automatically burst into some delicious ska. Fast, energetic, and full of power. Just the way your feet like it to keep you jumping and dancing throughout the track. The frenzy of horns always add so much to a song, and this is no exception. "State O Mind" starts out with a quick intro of rock, and then jumps right into it's bouncy ska sound that you will swear sounds familiar to you. Take ska and add a touch of the Beach Boys, and that sums it up nicely. "Fat and Married" starts off with soft guitars, and vocals. The vocals are softly sung, and give off a great sense of sensitivity. The rest of the song is some more of their trademark, up tempo ska that keeps your feet on the dance floor all night. "LA" throws a twist on everything. It starts out with some nice melody on behalf of the horns, and then the guitar stills the show with it's clean ska riffs, while the drums lightly keep the beat. But when the chorus hits and goes, "la, la, la, la...," it adds a weird feeling to the song. The "la, la's" don't exactly add a lot to the song, yet it doesn't take that much away. It adds some nice humor to the song, which is good for a chuckle, but besides that it seems out of place. That is the beauty of MU330--they take something that sounds out of place, and make it work to their advantage. Track eleven, "Hang Tuff Hold Tight," is a nice combination of a light touch of 60's pop and modern ska. It's also a great song for bands to hear. It gives you hope while your struggling from town to town wondering, "Why am I doing all of this? We didn't get paid, we are broke, and our gear got stolen in the last town. Why do we keep this band going?" They've been through it all, and with some twisted ska they give a younger band hope. After all these tracks, you might get hungry for some "Fried Chicken." Or you may just want to hear the song, which can be found on track fifteen. This song relieves tension for the band, as well as you. Some good clean fun. As the band talks about their chicken and funny songs, you'll crack a smile. These guys can be serious or down right comical, which is an important quality for a band. It helps them keep their spirits up, and while you listen to this CD your spirits will rise as well! "Inside me" is the final track on the CD. It starts out with some punk guitar, and then the horns enter in to add a mild touch to the song, and soften things a bit. The vocals go from clean singing to all out screams, all over energetic ska beats. Throw in a few hooks and crank up the music loud, and you'll almost have it.

Asian Man Records has a reputation for only bringing the best to your ears, and this CD doesn't disappoint. Eighteen tracks, and a hidden track, give this CD a lot of strength. Release your tension, have fun and dance, or just go crazy with this CD. Any route you take, you'll be enjoying this CD over and over again. This CD has earned an A. Now hit the repeat button on your CD player, and the fun will start all over again!

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