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April 23, 2024

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The N.C. Thirteens
Demo Tape (Big Chicken Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The N.C. Thirteens are a seven piece ska-core band from Warminster, PA, which is just outside of Philadelphia. They currently have an eight song cassette tape out for your listening pleasures on Big Chicken Records.

The first song, "Will," starts out with a heavy beat, and then it picks up to a beat that you can dance too. Fast paced, danceable guitar, a nice cut of horns, drums going crazy, and a steady bass make this song very interesting. The song goes from a heavy texture, to the fact paced beat that you can dance to, and it even slows to the point where the horns are very enjoyable and fill the song up with nice melody, and then it picks up again to make your feet start dancing. The next track, "Better," starts off with some nice, gentle horns. But don't start thinking they are going soft on you, because in a few seconds the song picks up to their energetic style. When vocals enter it slows down again, but then they pick it right back up. A healthy blend of gentle ska that you will want to dance to, and punk rock that will take you and throw you on the floor. There are two other tracks on side one, "All You Say," and "Opinion." Side two starts off with "Mixed Up," which is personally my favorite song on the tape. A reggae like starting, horns that breeze by you and make you feel so warm, and then they catch you off guard as they throw it into high gear. But once the vocals enter, they slow it down for a little bit. A very enjoyable ska guitar, vocals that are very comforting, and then they pick it up, but not too fast, and back down to it's gentleness. The chorus is very catchy, and the whole song is very well composed. "Junk Yard" is the next song. "Coffee and Cigarettes" is next. Faced paced ska guitar line the song, as the horns cut powerful slices through the music. The vocals are nice, but sometimes it gets messy when the backing vocals kick in. Overall, a good song though. Nice contrast. From a medium paced punk style with horns, to their gentler ska beats. And it ends with a very calm voice singing the words, "I just called to say I love you..." in a very gentle, relaxed voice. A perfect way to calm down after the energy has flown from the song that is just ending. "Our Way," finishes off the tape.

The N.C. Thirteens definitely have a bright futures. A few glitches here and there, and a few things they could improve on, but other than that they are a pretty solid act. Please use the above contact information and web address and check them out! You won't regret it! I would give them an A. This is definitely one tape you can't afford to pass up on.

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