Sunday, 12 August 2018

MAD CADDIES

















"punk rock steady"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Solvang, CA
Label:  Fat wreck chords 
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Reggae















The Mad Caddies are at a point in their career where they can do whatever the hell they want and have proven that they are the King Midas of Fat Wreck Chords. Everything they touch turns to gold and their new album Punk Rocksteady is all the proof you need. The idea of converting punk songs into reggae tunes had been discussed for some time now and it has finally come to fruition with 12 wide-ranging tracks that were handpicked by Fat Mike and the band. Every original song that was chosen for this album has a memorable melody that could easily translate to a reggae melody, though some of the quick chord changes were probably difficult to transform. But as the band has stated, a good song is a good song no matter what style it’s played in. The melodies on songs like “She” (Green Day), “2RAK005” (Bracket), and “Alien 8” (Lagwagon) are a perfect fit for reggae and reminded me how much I’ve missed these songs. It could be argued that the Caddies have actually enhanced some of these tunes with that chicka-chicka sound, running bass lines and tons of harmonies, though some punk purists may be upset with such drastic changes. And in some cases, the Caddies version may force the listener to enjoy the original song even more. For example, I’ve always seen “She’s Gone” as a deep cut in NOFX’s catalogue. But this version forced me to listen more closely and made me appreciate Fat Mike’s songwriting skills. Furthermore, the band uses the music to highlight the storytelling by slowly building up anticipation until you ultimately reach the climax of the song. While I was eager to hear all twelve tracks on Punk Rocksteady, two of the songs I was most interested in listening to were the reworked tunes of Operation Ivy and Propagandhi. One of the most identifiable parts on this record is the opening to “Sleep Long”, but the tune completely changes style for the verse and the rest of the choruses with help from Aimee Interrupter and Joshua Waters Rudge of the Skints. And while this version is completely different, it is interesting to see how the band completely and successfully reworked this song. “...And We Thought That Nation-States Were A Bad Idea” was another song I was eagerly anticipating because it is a really difficult song to transform into a reggae tune. The Mad Caddies turned an angry, fast-paced, guitar-heavy song into an upbeat, horn-laced track with heavy harmonies. And to top it off, Fat Mike jumps in at the end of the song with a light-hearted jab at Propagandhi’s aversion to ska. Compared to other Mad Caddies albums (putting the cover idea aside), it would not be their best record simply because it is all reggae and no punk, so therefore doesn’t highlight all of the band’s strengths. But considering the concept, it is an outstanding album and one of my favorite releases of the year. And while this album will probably piss off some of the punk rock police, Punk Rocksteady gave me a newfound appreciation of songs I haven’t listened to in a long time (*Review by Pete Vincelli ).
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