Skip to main content

Radical Chemicals Vol 1: InCircles/ThePandemics

I am a ska kid. Now and forever. It doesn't matter how broadened my music mind gets or how much love I have for any other scene or genre. I am a ska kid. Branded in the 90's, and still dancing in front of the stage until I damn near pass out every opportunity I get.

Mind you, I'm 38 years old, married with two kids and working a full time job in suburban New Jersey so that isn't as often as I would like anymore...but in my heart, it's all a ska show all day, every day. I have met some of my nearest and dearest friends through this scene. When I was starting out doing internet radio, Podcasting, and blogging six years ago, this scene opened itself to me and gave me a huge push. It's a longtime friend. It's a cozy home. One of those friends in the scene that I met alone the way is Chris Malone, founder of Lonely Atom Records and trombone/vocalist for The Pandemics.

Let me say first that the Pandemics hit me like a ton of bricks. They have one of the boldest and tightest horn sections I have ever seen live and more energy than a thousand toddlers on cupcakes on the stage. I have booked them. I even played with them. They show up, they clean up, and they are some of the nicest folks you will meet. To me, the work they have done in the ska scene has been essential to helping the next generation have a place to be when it's time to move in. That seems to be the goal behind what Chris and Lonely Atom are putting together with it's Radical Chemicals split 7" series. These folks have been active members of the scene themselves for many years and they understand the struggles that a young band faces coming up. The costs, the roadblocks, the pay for play culture, self promotion and everything that comes along with it. They want to help. They want to make a difference.

"Every member of our team here at Lonely Atom Records are more than just music “fans”.  Three of us are musicians, one of us is an audio engineer and the two of us have been booking shows for almost 20 years collectively.  Between us we’ve worked with hundreds of amazing artists.  Artists that we want to see grow to their full potential who don’t get nearly the attention they deserve; something we hope to rectify."

The label set up an Indiegogo campaign to get the label project kick started and it was a success. As a result, the train is moving on and there will be more volumes to come. They are actively seeking additional bands for the project and are excited to share their vision and the music they love with our scene, your scene, and beyond. It's really a fantastic thing that they are doing and I applaud Lonely Atom and Chris for putting forth this vision and making it a reality. You can visit the campaign page and see a video interview with Chris Malone about the project HERE.



I was lucky enough to get a listen to the first installment, including The Pandemics and InCircles.

Very familiar with the Pandemics, I was excited to hear this track. It didn't disappoint. Its that same brassy energy that I love and even kicked it up a notch. The vocals are growling and broody with punk flavor over a ska beat. I have not had the chance to see the Pandemics live in several years and this really kicked open the doors for me. I really want to get out and see these guys again ASAP. This is ska. This is what we need to carry forward in this scene! I am having a very hard time not getting up and dancing while I am typing this...

InCircles is new to me. They are loaded with energy. I can hear a real distinct Placebo flavor in their song, which is awesome. I am a huge Placebo fan and it's not a sound you get a lot of here in the states. It's a Pixies-esque BritPop/PopPunk sound with a bit more edge and that Brian Molko vocal flair that is really not easily replicated. Very cool. Very kicky. I can get into this. The song itself is super catchy. This is essential kick-punk driving music. Sing along, get loud.

I like that this is not just a ska project. This is a broader base.

I am incredibly proud to be able to share what Lonely Atom is doing with the world and I hope they keep on keeping on with these splits and campaigns. There is a ton of music out there that needs a stage and props to Lonely Atom for helping build that stage with DIY energy and experience for the next generation. I hope you check it out and lend your voice!

Head on over to the Facebook page or grab the music HERE. You can also head on over to the Indiegogo fundraising page HERE and learn more about the series and the mission.

My favorite quote on the whole page:

"A portion of the proceeds from these shows goes toward label expenses (the rest goes to the bands because paying musicians for their work is cool)." 

Yes. Yes it sure as fuck is.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Smooth Reggae Feels with The Elovaters: The Cornerstone

If anyone has been following along for the last 7 years, I started this journey doing an Internet radio show out of Stroudsburg, PA. I was blogging mostly local NJ artists slowly, and my format was "alternative" which gave me the freedom to take it wherever it went...and went, it did. One Sunday I decided to go full ska and had two of my dearest friends in the studio with me. My FM DJ girlfriend Lindsay and my friend in music and giant cans of pudding, Rob. I would be doing on-air interviews with Steve Jackson from the Pietasters and Travis from Hub City Stompers. There was beer. There was laughing. More than anything, there was a realization that this has always been the music that got deepest into my soul and why in the hell was this not my focus?

After a roof collapse and two station location shifts, our home base disbanded and a few of us, like myself, decided to hop into podcasting and continue with blogging reviews. I somehow garnered myself a lot of support in the sk…

Late to the Party Again: Spiritual Rez with Setting In The West

I didn't come out of the womb with my love for reggae and ska. It was something I fell into in the 90's like a lot of other people in my age bracket. I was in high school and I was introduced to Reel Big Fish, The Pietasters, The Slackers. Stubborn All Stars. I mixed it in with my love of punk, industrial, and 60's folk and rock and 80's new wave. I have always been all over the map in what lights me up. There was something about ska and reggae though that was just different. It became part of my blood. Even still, it took another 15 years for me to really delve into it deeply, finding it's roots and pioneers and learning their messages and individual sounds. I am still learning. There is so much. So many off shoots and sounds to be found. There are scene crossovers. There are fringe bands. There are sounds I still have not really heard!

That doesn't mean my ears have always been open. I have been pretty honest in previous pieces this year about how closed min…

My thoughts on TWIDDLE - PLUMP CHAPTER 1 - (there is no good reason for not having this record)

I married a jam guy.

This ska/reggae/rocksteady enthusiast married a jam guy.

It's not news. We have been married a few years. We bonded over a shared love of Bad Religion and Irish coffees several years ago and the rest is history. He is a bass player and a Dead Head. Our musical tastes are both very eclectic and while they overlap in many places, we never had a really prominently shared adoration for a band that made us both go looking for shows and hotels in other cities to see them at. Well, until now.

 I have had a good time taking him on Slackers booze cruises and Pietasters shows over the last few years. I have enjoyed showing him my world and my terrible dancing. His love is in the jam scene. I have gone to see him play and equally enjoyed watching the crowds at these colorful festivals and listening to the incredible musicianship I have gotten the chance to see. The people are wonderful and welcoming, but I didn't feel that pulling in my heart the way I do at the sho…