Mad Caddies

Keep It Going

Written by: PP on 22/05/2007 14:47:18

Is 2007 a some kind of tribute year for Sublime or did I miss something here? How come all the ska-punk acts this year seem to be retreating back to the 1996 classic "Sublime" era where reggae influences dominated ska everywhere? Not that it was a bad thing at all, mind you, but I'm starting to feel more than just a little nostalgic after not just Big D & The Kids Table, but now also Mad Caddies having released a new album with heavy focus on relaxed reggae atmospheres and groovy beach tunes.

"Keep It Going" begins with what could best be described as a quintessential ska punk beat in "The Dirge", just the way you want it to have a good skanking session. Hereafter the band slows it down and brings in the groove and reggae-style riffs. "Backyard" and "State Of Mind" are so clearly influenced by Sublime tracks like "Santeria" it's impossible to write it off, but they also fail to create an impression on you. "Today" returns with the pace and is one of the strongest tracks on the album, and is once again one for the skankers with a strong brass department. "Without You" has the happiest mood so far and albeit its slowness manages to make you dance.

And then, "Keep It Going" turns really strange, almost unrecognizable to the punkier ska sound profile Mad Caddies helped to make known in the last ten years. Those who have read interviews with the band might recall guitarist Sascha Lazor's interest in experimenting with Eastern European influences in their sound, and that has now manifested itself on "Reflections". It's still a ska song, but the tone of the brass instruments draws parallels to the traditional music of Eastern Europe. "Coyote" on the other hand sounds mildly like the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello given the accordion and the jittery beat, and with "Souls For Sale" on the background you can almost imagine living a relaxed Jamaican lifestyle.

So far we've established "Keep It Going" has more experimental tracks than any Mad Caddies album to date. As a fan of the band's faster material that might scare you off, but lets not forget that tracks like "Tired Bones" and "Don't Go" are vintage Mad Caddies, even if the latter is one of the poppiest songs they have written to date. Since the album consists 15 tracks, the band has much space to include a wide variety of styles to the album without fearing for a backlash from their core fanbase. While this works to some extent, it still leaves you scratching your head at times, wondering where all the fast stuff went. The only logical conclusion one might draw from this is that while it certainly isn't their best yet, it's by no means bad and whether you will enjoy it or not will largely be determined by how devoted you are to their past.


Download: The Dirge, Reflections, Tired Bones
For the fans of: Sublime, Big D & The Kids Table, Gogol Bordello
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.05.2007
Fat Wreck Chords

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