Half Past Two “Camp Slushtone”

Okay, so there is a whole bunch of great music out there that is not getting its due. I know typically when you see somebody post reviews about albums and the like, it’s in conjunction with a forthcoming release or one that is still hot off the press, but nah, I’m just going to start reviewing whatever I want whenever I feel like it, especially, because I think a lot of these albums are probably still going to be brand new to a the handful of people that wander this to this site. That being said, Let’s get it started with one of my favorite OC bands, HALF PAST TWO, and their release from last year, “CAMP SLUSHTONE.”

So right off the bat, the struggle is real when it comes to fighting the urge to sing along to these songs. The energy remains pretty upbeat through the whole EP and the catchiness burrows these songs into your skull with no intention of leaving. Point in case, my four year old has loved this album since the day I first played “Proximity,” (and he demanded I repeat it about 30 times), to the point where I catch him singing random verses about three or four times through out the day. And mind you, its the entire EP! So, for all you peeps with little ones, huck the Kidz Bop off an over pass and queue up Slushtone if you want something family friendly that your kids will totally dig, but also feeds your need for the some third wave goodness!

I really dig the overall energy of this release as it really is the perfect Summertime jam, as the overall theme of Slushtone seems to try to convince you that there’s good time happening something if you’re just open to it. Tara Hahn’s vocals and lyrics seem to challenge the listener to join the fun, especially with the cover of The Killer’s “Smile Like You Mean It,” which cracked me up to happy tears when I first heard it! As with a lot of OC bands before and after, you have a good amount of quick upstrokes mixed with some catchy Pop Punk chords, but while we’re add it, lets add some moogy sounding synths, some Van Halen-esque Guitarmonies and other fun as well. I could gush about this album for a bit more, but I’ll get down to the details, followed by a couple more music videos 🙂



Steppin’ Out: Stoney Tony Skanks to Landrace

Hailing from the college town of Pullman, Washington is Landrace, a 6-piece latin infused ska band who is looking to change the world of ska.

When I first saw them about a year ago, I was immediately impressed. They were a little rough as they were new on the scene, but the ambition they had and the energy they provided to the crowd was remarkable. I knew over time they would tighten up as a whole and become a force to reckon with in the Northwest scene.

One thing that helped Landrace tighten up quickly is the fact that most of their members are music majors. They have one of the most powerful and tight horn sections I have ever heard. Eric, Noah and Gabby all display the thorough training they have on both their own instruments and playing in a group. Back on the drums is David Ward and at the ripe age of 19, is definitely one of the better drummers I have ever seen and helps carry the band’s energy with his “college student” antics.

The other thing that helped them tighten up so quick is how hard they work. Landrace averages two shows a month and are doing music projects on the side weekly. This is the reason why they have been able to do so much in a very short year mixed in with school, work, and personal lives; and why you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
In just about a year, Landrace has already accomplished a lot as a band. They have won two battle of the bands, are competing in Ska-mic con voting (AND WON THE FIRST ROUND), as well as play shows across the entire state of Washington and hold down the local scene in Moscow, Idaho.

When seeing Landrace, you can expect to see a balanced set list of great tunes. They do both covers and originals in both English and Spanish. They cover four songs we all know and love consistently, including: What a Wicked Gang We Are, Take on Me, Special Brew and Impression That I Get. Two of their originals really stick out to me, Chemical Smile and Tan Shirt Guy, the latter about a local legend who gets down the hardest at every show.

Landrace is particularly good to me, because of their display that music is in fact the universal language. I can’t understand half of their music due to it being in Spanish, yet I want to go see them week in and week out because of the energy those songs carry, and the message that energy imposes on the crowd.
Be sure to catch Landrace in Seattle on September 3 @ The Highline for the All Ska & No Work Show, and give them a follow on social media.

Landrace on Facebook
Landrace on Twitter

-Stoney Toney is the former host of Skagape, an awesome show that was featured on 90.7 KZUU in Pullman, Washington and on Ska Bob Radio via the interwebs. A Ska Aficionado and Coug for Life, Stoney Toney appears courtesy of himself and will be back for more!