Starting off their EP with a police siren, JKPBombs’ ska-punk assault reminds us of a Leftover Crack or The Specifics, albeit a hell of a lot more sloppy. Strong bass pushes the first track, “3813” to a quick completion, and Marty’s vocals, done up in a perfectly snotty tone, match the scratchy ska-themed guitar lines of Corey. The only thing that could be changed with their first outing would be a two-part harmony in the section before the chorus; while there are two different lines of vocals after that, a doubled-up chorus of voices would have pushed the track even farther into the stratosphere. “Playing the Villain” expands on the ska-punk influence but also adds a laid-back tone that is reminiscent of Dookie-era Green Day. Even if the lyrics cross the line of banality quite a few times on this demo (see “Time”), the fact is that Marty convincingly sells the lyrics and the rest of the band actually come out of the gate strong, intricately minded, and too see such energy held by a band is impressive.
“Pago Island” ends the disc and has the honor of having the most intricate, Matt Freeman-styled bass line, a multi-part vocals, and a general sound as if Blink 182 mounted the Descendents. Never looking back, JKPBombs’ lyrics are about the mundane aspects of life, much like the earliest days of the Descendents and the Ramones, and even though these things (turning 18, drinking beer) have been covered time and time again, JKPBombs are able to completely cast their own veneer on the tracks and make the subject matter interesting. “Cosmic Bowling” has the pseudo-rap that The Transplants only wish they had, instead of the stale-ass rhymes of Bald Rob.
JKPBombs and The Specifics are the next big thing in punk music, flawlessly combining most of the different sub-genres that are in the twilights of their popularity and re-casting them in a totally unique way. The disc clocks in at less than twelve minutes, and while the demo has enormous re-play value, I personally want to hear more tracks from the band. The recording is perfect for the music being played, not completely anti-septic but a little bit fuzzy to create the illusion that this is back in ’85 and you’ve just opened the LP and threw it on the player. These are the pre-release cuts; I just can’t fathom how they could make these tracks sound any better.
Top Track: Playing The Villain
JKPBombs – Five Song Sampler / 2004 Self-Released / 5 Tracks / http://www.jkpbombs.com / JKPBOMBS@hotmail.com / Reviewed 22 September 2004