Husbands AKA, Husbands AKA | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Husbands AKA, Husbands AKA 

Album Review

cd-husbandaka.jpg

(Self-released, digital download)

Burlington’s ska scene isn’t prominent — it lives primarily on local turntables rather than onstage. But ska-punkers Husbands AKA are gaining momentum. On their new, self-titled album, which showcases their hardcore and punk-rock roots, the musicians bring checkered hellfire.

“Controlled” opens the record on a serious note: drug addiction. Lead vocalist Dylan Burns sings, “Don’t judge a person by the color of their skin or by the poison that they have just shot in.” The song barely clears two minutes but evokes a lifelong battle.

“Nobody’s Listening” infuses street-punk choruses into the band’s ska-roots modus operandi. Guitarist Sean Fitzpatrick and organist Tyson Valyou create an intense sonic assault, and bassist Chris Valyou is equally instrumental in creating the band’s bouncy dynamic. Collectively, the trio drive this record. But it’s drummer Alex Pond who shifts the album into high gear. Channeling a little Dave Mello from Operation Ivy, Pond slams out aggressively quick changes, accelerating with passion.

“Wild Girl” suggests the slapstick style of the Queers, with Burns offering similar skirls while staying grounded on a roots level.

“Nice & Easy” harnesses the traditional ska feel of the Two Tone era. With melodies reminiscent of the Specials, this laid-back tune suggests that you “slow down, now pick it up … take it nice and easy.” The band takes its own advice; after a few slower tunes, the album rips.

“One More Time” may be the record’s defining song. The chorus is timeless, and the outro perfectly encapsulates the Husbands’ style: It makes you want to fill a dance floor and join in a sing-along chorus. Fitzpatrick alternates quickly between shredding power chords and upbeat strums. Riffing to the melodies, he is the only guitar player needed. Early punk-rock structures shine throughout, and Fitzpatrick seals the deal.

The album fittingly closes with “Voices.” As soon as Burns sings, “I’ve lost all control,” the song falls seamlessly in and out of distorted dynamics and intermittent ska sections.

There is a lot to like about Husbands AKA’s latest. None of the songs crosses the three-minute mark. Gone are the predictable horn lines typical of third-wave ska bands — melodies succeed here with just one organ. And the record’s production is raw and to the point. Even better, Husbands AKA is available for free download at husbandsaka.bandcamp.com/album/husbands-aka.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Justin Crowther

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation