Hit’N’Run is the first track on the Wicked Bees EP, and long-time ska listeners will be able to pick out Mighty Mighty Bosstones, early No Doubt, and The Insyderz in Ska Skank Redemption’s overall sound. The production of this release allows the instrumentation to shine as brightly as the inimitable vocals, ensuring that an effort like Sheila could easily make it onto rock radio. Sheila combines elements as disparate as Sublime and 311 with Goldfinger and Less Than Jake.
The infectious nature of the The Aquabats comes through during the hump track, Age Like Wine. A warm horn and a strong narrative fuels the track, while the ropey bass and punctual percussion provides a fullness and complexity that will stick with listeners long after the CD has ceased. Of the five tracks on Wicked Bees, I feel that Age Like Wine possesses the greatest allure. Capped off by a sizzling horn solo, this song speeds up and rides high through its conclusion. Minnesota and Christine showcase the never say die spirit of Ska Skank Redemption; they are on, no matter where on their EP they may be.
The Wicked Bees EP is a rare example of a short-form release that provides listeners with a solid sense of what the band is influenced by and where they may ultimately go on a full length. For those that want to see the renaissance of ska, check out the latest news about Ska Skank Redemption at their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ssredemption). Here’s to hoping that they can cut a full-length from the same vibrant cloth which they utilized during the Wicked Bees EP.
Top Tracks: Hit’N’Run, Age Like Wine