Record Label: Side One Dummy Records
Genre: Ska Punk
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Big D and the Kids Table has been a staple in the ska punk community since the late 90’s. Over the years each album that they have released has been better than the next. One good album comes out and I wonder to myself, how can they top the last one? Somehow, each and every time, they do.
2011 sees the release of “For the Damned, the Dumb & the Delirious”. When the album kicks off, I have to double check my media player to make sure that it didn’t start playing “Good Luck” by accident. The first track, “Walls” starts off like a long lost song from a Voodoo Glow Skulls recording session and then it’s 1999 all over again with the classic ska punk sound from the earlier days of Big D. This trend continues for the next
couple of songs until “Best of Them All” comes up. This Celtic influenced sing-a-long bar ditty about being down on your luck sounds like another Boston band jumped into the studio. It’s a fun track and a good change up between the skankin’.
As good as the beginning of “For the Damned…” is, the middle of the album is where the meat and potatoes are. With gems like “Brains-a-Bomb”, “Destination Gone Astray”, Roxbury (Roots’n’Shoots), “Home” and “It’s Raining Zombies On Wall Street” it was hard to pick one stand out track, but that honor goes to “My Buddy’s Back”, a furiously paced ska punk song about the relief and excitement of a good friend who was a soldier
in the Middle Eastern war who has finally come back home for good. It tells the tale of everything that the youth in that war have been missing for all of the years of service and of all the simple things in life that a lot of people take for granted. By the end of the song it smacks you in the face with the realization that the war isn’t quite over yet and there are others out there far from home serving their country.
The tail end of “For the Damned…” is by no means cannon fodder. Big D continue mixing up the sounds of their discography with an assortment of ska, punk, stroll (the bands description of the sound of music on “Fluent In Stroll”, dub and even a little big band. “Riot Girl” is a danceable two-tone influenced tune, “One Day” is a Jeckyl and Hyde ska/punk song that starts off on an acoustic riff and then takes off into an organ driven punk song and “And Long As We’re Cool” is a riff-driven drum line song that has a lounge beat to it.
“For the Damned, the Dumb & the Delirious” is the prime example of a band just doing what they do. Big D and the Kids Table have always taken chances throughout their career whether it’s had a positive or negative reception from the critics. Some have said that their music sounded like circus music while others have said the band has gone soft. Personally I have enjoyed the excitement and anticipation of a new Big D album
for the past 12 years and I can honestly say that they have yet to disappoint. “For the Damned…” is a great mix of a little bit of everything that the band has to offer. It’s a roots album that doesn’t sound forced. It’s the sound of a band just having fun on their own time.
Bottom Line: A modern Big D album with a classic third wave sound.
Notable Tracks: Clothes Off, My Buddy’s Back, Roxbury (Roots’n’Shoots), It’s Raining
Zombies On Wall Street, Riot Girl