New Jersey hooligan “ska for people who hate ska” Hub City Stompers are finally back with their latest album Life After Death and let me just say I’ve been waiting for years ever since I’ve heard some of these songs played live (shit, they’ve been doing “Pants Music” since at least 2009).
For those who don’t know HCS plays ska infused with punk, oi, and hardcore sounding what The Slackers or The Specials might sound like if they listened to more Sham 69 and Cock Sparrer, and are easily one of the most consistent ska bands that are still cranking out music.
Incredibly easy going and skankable songs like “Lil Miss Nothin”, a song about a girl trying to sleep her way to popularity are very reminiscent of their earlier work on Blood, Sweat And Beers while follow-up “Untouchable” shows just how well they can blend ska with oi.
The band hasn’t loss their aggression with their tongue in cheek attack on everything from Jersey Shore types crowding the beaches to hipsters. Take “Pants Music” for example: a jab at the emo scene with lyrics like “The hardcore scene was doing just fine, before you turned screams of rage into a pussified whine.” Immature? Probably. Catchy? Definitely. (and before any emo fan gets offended, don’t worry, they attack ska on a previous album).
Not all their songs are fun jabs though, with “Hey Ed” being a heartfelt ode to a fallen friend and easily one of the standout tracks on the album.
I’ve been listening to these guys since Blood Sweat And Beers, and I believe that this is one of their best albums yet. Definitely a must for any ska fan, they’re one of the few good ones left.
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