Washington D.C.’s The Pietasters are one of the longest running Ska bands on the market today. Formed in 1990, the soul slinging, hard partying band represents the finest of youthful energy combined with adult situations. Anyone who has seen the group can tell you that their performances are lighthearted, beer saturated dance-a-thons that feature bouncy grooves, catchy melodies, and a reason to leave the drama at home. The band’s rise to prominence was inevitable, and their impressive catalogue of releases, EP’s, and compilation appearances have made them a household name amongst Ska enthusiasts.
However, life does have a way of throwing touring musicians a mighty curveball at times. The band has endured several lineup changes during their tenure, most notably the tragic passing of longtime bassist Todd Eckhardt. But the band marches on, taking their soulful sound on the road to this very day. They’ve recently had their classic album, “Oolooloo,” released on vinyl for the first time, and you can buy it HERE (if it’s still available… RUN!)
The 3rd Wave of Ska Music came and went in a mighty rush. Due in large part to MTV and the formation of Warped Tour in 1995, Ska was thrust into a spotlight it had never before seen, and hasn’t seen since. It always intrigues me when I hear people say that they “used to like Ska” music. What was it that turned you off from it, and why can’t you appreciate it anymore? Growing up shouldn’t mean leaving old friends behind.
Abject is NYHC through and through. After my fourth listen in an hour, I’m diggin’ this album a whole lot! Clocking in at just over 16 minutes, “Try Again!” is 9-tracks born of beer, barroom brawls, and George Carlin’s unique take on society. Politics be damned… This is music to get in a fight to after a night of hard drinking. “What are you lookin’ at?”
I met guitarist Mattakins once in NYC. We got to a bar in Astoria to talk music at around 4pm, left at 10pm, and had drinks in our hands the whole time. It was a fun night, followed by one hell of a hangover. Grad school be damned, I wasn’t able to commit to any projects at that time, but I’m glad to know Craigslist isn’t just for hookers and shitty job opportunities.
Full of the crunchy guitars you’d expect, the album offers some excellent builds into ripping old school hardcore beats. The gruff, raspy vocals compliment the sound well, and the frenetic energy they bring to the recording makes up for any technical issues. I mean… It was probably recorded next to a keg, anyway.
Hilarious titles like “SUV Tard” and “Popped Collar Broken Nose” should give you an idea that Abject’s contempt for mainstream society’s trendy consumerism and fashion sense is not to be taken lightly, in a lighthearted way.
Best taken straight up with no chaser, Abject is great!