Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Written by: PP on 17/03/2016 23:15:26
Although Copenhagen was home to the widely attended Copenhagen Ska Convention for more than a decade, the city has never really had a proper ska punk band. Straight up ska, rocksteady, two-tone inspired outfits and ska/reggae hybrids we have aplenty, some of them world-class (Babylove & The Van Dangos), but none readily fitting to the classic Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords mold. In that context, the name Megafonzie first popped up in the Copenhagen live circuit about five or six years back when they were playing sporadic shows mostly in support of other punk bands at tiny underground venues like UnderWerket, but nothing much concrete came out of it back then. After years spent holed up in inactivity and writing new songs, Megafonzie are finally gearing up to release their debut album "Drink Up" just in time for our St. Patrick's Day festivities on Saturday. And this, my friends, is a true ska punk album from top to bottom, textbook style, which is exactly what the Copenhagen punk scene has sorely needed for some time now.
Upbeat ska strokes, a lively horn section, and instantly catchy, danceable melodies dominate "Drink Up" from its opening title track to the groovy album closer "Game Over". Inspiration is clearly drawn from fellow ska-punk bands like Less Than Jake ("1001 Commandments" echoes their late 90s material in particular), Big D & The Kids Table style high-octane ska punk, with few metallic sections and screams complementing the expression and turning heads towards the darker ska punk championed by Streetlight Manifesto style. Make no mistake, though, Megafonzie's melodies are far brighter and upbeat in comparison to the latter. Fellow Copenhagen no frills punk rockers The 20Belows get a stylistic nod too on "Friday Night (In 30 Seconds)", which sounds like a turbocharged version of their Copenhagen pop punk with a few trumpets for good measure.
Album highlights include "Westend Asshole", a social critique on Copenhagen café latté drinking student segment that'll have you singing along the first time you hear it, the Reel Big Fish inspired "Just Another Breakup Song" from their "Cheer Up"-era, the pop punk sing along gem "Generalize" and many others with vibrant trumpet and trombone sections that just sound fun and should be perfect for getting the dancefloor moving. The album may have its inconsistencies--"Hot Dogs" is just plain weird lyrically and there are a couple of more anonymous tracks that don't necessarily stick out like the highlights--but overall "Drink Up" is almost frighteningly good for a band that claims "It's just a project for people in other bands and this album might be all there is to the band" (the bassist doubles as vocalist for folk metallers Heidra, their drummer Leo is in Forever Unclean, and trombonist Eva plays in various ska/reggae bands). It'd be a shame if the latter was true, because "Drink Up" is one of the most refreshing records to come out of the Copenhagen punk underground for a while, featuring songs that should have most Epitaph/Fat Wreck fans singing along and dancing the night away.
Download: Westend Asshole, Generalize, Drink Up, Better Half, Just Another Breakup Song
For the fans of: Less Than Jake, Big D & The Kids Table, Streetlight Manifesto
Release date 19.03.2016