Is ska dead? Has it been massacred by the onslaught of inexorably monotonous pop and mind-numbing rap rock? Well, ask the top execs at MTV and KROQ and they'll probably say there is no point in beating a dead horse. But ask the fans, and they'll tell you just how alive it still is. But even I'll admit, the ska scene has suffered a huge decline in popularity, and could use some resuscitation. And that my friends, is the whole point of this review…to introduce you to the band that will become the heroes of ska.
The Forces of Evil formed in January of 2001, and have been taking it slow ever since, but that won't last for long. Their EP Because We Care… was released in June and is a short, but strong testimony that the true spirit of ska still exists. This isn't just any band, it's a group of all-star ska bad asses! Many former members of Jeffrie's Fan Club, such as Justin, Chris, Derek and Jay Evil, and a current member or Reel Big Fish, Aaron Evil, help to frame a line up that is pretty tough to beat.
The EP's first offering “Vague Love Song” is a cheerful, upbeat track with classic bouncy horns that, with the help of Aaron Evil's vocals, brings you back to the days of old school Reel Big Fish. Next up is “My Life“, a screw you, leave me alone, tell it how it is song that simply states “I don't need your advice, this is my own life, I can fuck it up my self“.
An interesting thing about The Forces of Evil is that there isn't really one lead singer, there are three…I think. Chris Evil sings the EP's third track “Mistake“. With some harmonious backing from Aaron, this song is loud fast and kicks ass! Next up is “Independent” where we are introduced to the vocals of Johnny Evil and his Evil Girlfriend. This song is bubbly, fun ska that pretty much rags on feminists…no wonder it's my favorite.
Finishing up the EP is “Angry Anthem #347“. The music itself isn't angry, but the lyrics certainly live up to the title. The chorus is quite simple and goes something like this, “fuck all you mother-fuckers, fuck all you mother-fuckers, fuck you”. With it's acoustic guitar, one horn, and all the guys singing in unison, it's what I like to call “campfire ska”, and it's good.
There is absolutely no excuse to not go get this EP. Even if you don't like it you will only have wasted twelve minutes and thirty-five seconds of your life and eight dollars. The Forces of Evil have already begun the revival of ska, and with a full-length album on the way it can only get better.
shannon [at] unearthed [dot] com
The Forces of Evil are:
Aaron Evil – Guitar/Vocals
Justin Evil – Drums
Derek Evil – Bass
Johnny Evil – Trombone/Vocals
Chris Evil – Trombone/vocals
Jay Evil – Trumpet/Vocals
John Evil – Trumpet/Vocals
For more information on FOE visit their web site a www.theforcesofevil-ska.com.
Thanks to Vince Pileggi and Milano Entertainment Group for the awesome music!