Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Voodoo Glow Skulls - Southern California Street Music

Got a moment? I would like to take you on a little trip. Step with me, if you will, into the not-so-way back machine. We’re going back to 1994 - Sublime, No Doubt, and other third wave ska-punk acts are about to assault the charts. Next year they’ll really break but now they’re gathering their steam, ready to explode and leading that movement is the Riverside, Calif. based Voodoo Glow Skulls.

Never attaining the same commercial success of those other acts, the Voodoo Glow Skulls were instrumental in fostering a movement that, at its most basic, gave voice to a music that already dominated their hometown, Southern California streets. With their aptly titled Southern California Street Music due out Sept 18 from Victory Records, the Voodoo Glow Skulls return from a nearly three year hiatus showing that their brand of music still dominates in their hood.

As solid a release as any of their others, Southern California Street Music finds the ‘Skulls sticking to the style – hard-core punk riffs with an ever present horn section, that’s carried them 16 years. Lead singer, Frank Casillas continues to bark rather then sing his vocals to an effecting style while the remaining brothers Eddie and Jorge Casillas masterfully handle guitar and bass duties, respectively. Rounding out the group, Jerry O’Neill on drums, Brodie Johnson on trumpet and Eric Fazzini on the saxophone make sure the music has the proper amount of flare to counter the punk rock attack.

Always one to wear their politics on their sleeves, Southern California Street Music is no exception with such tracks as “When the World Stops Turning” and “Morning Air Raid Sirens.” While they may not name specific individuals, its pretty clear were the ‘Skull’s angst lay – “abusing power for senseless tragedy/given the younger a bond of thieves/family tradition…” from “Morning Air Raid Siren.” This is definitely a band not afraid to take a stand and then damn near dare you to call them on it.

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