Los Kung Fu Monkeys have been around since the dawn of the third wave of ska punk and unfortunately I never managed to pick up any of their albums. I know the name from one thing or another since it’s obviously a name that sticks out in your brain. “Rude Boy Rockers” is quite an introduction to the band and leaves one hell of a first impression!
Kicking off the album is the rowdy, high energy ska punk track “Taking It Easy”. The song is fast, danceable and just an overall fun track. The band changes pace with a slower two-tone influenced track (and one of my favorites on the album) “Stretch Your Hand”. One could easily mistake it for a Planet Smashers song. Their Mexican heritage is prevalent on the following track titled “TJ Es Me Hogar”…a hypersonic paced punk song with horns. “See You In The End” continues the speedy trend with a powerful song about a lost friend and hopes of seeing him again on the other side. This variety and shift in styles continues throughout the 13 tracks on the album, leaving you anxious to hear what will come next.
Songs like “See You In The End”, “It Takes Time” and “Stretch Your Hand” showcase what I love about “Rude Boy Rockers”. You won’t find songs about senseless partying, high school relationship scenarios or American politics. Instead, the songs radiate a positive vibe without sinking in a pool of sappiness. There are positive messages on life, love, friendships and the hardships of life. When you pair great songwriting with strong ska and punk influences and musical craftsmanship, you are bound to get an excellent album such as “Rude Boy Rockers”. It’s been on a constant rotation for me since my first listen and I don’t see it getting shuffled out anytime soon.
Bottom Line: “Rude Boy Rockers” is just one of those rare gems that sticks in your head and you can’t get it out. Traditional, two tone, third wave, punk rock, oi…it’s all there and perfectly melded together in order to compose one hell of a listening experience.
Notable Tracks: Take It Easy, Move On, Stretch Your Hand, See You In The End, Walking Outside, Mas Que Ruido, Working Class Hymn