Record Label: Self-Released
Genre: Punk Rock/Ska
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“Long Live Song” is the Atlanta-based punk/ska bands’ first full-length album in quite a few years. For its release the band asked for the help of their fans via Kickstarter to fund the project. Those fans were happy to oblige.
While I don’t want to put it out there that “Long Live Song” is a departure of any sorts from the previous sounds of past Bastard efforts, it does have a different feel to it. The songs are more streamlined and there is distinct separation of styles. Not found on this album are songs that jump back and forth between ska and punk. There is either a punk song, a reggae song or a ska song. There is no in between. There is more to “Long Live Song” than just the ska and punk. The Suns dabble in country and cow-punk on a few tracks and throw in some hard rock stuff just for kicks.
With the separation of punk and ska on “Long Live Song”, the song writing hasn’t deteriorated any. More straightforward ska influenced songs like “Enlighten Up” and “Feel Free” are instant favorites of mine. There is also a re-recorded version of recent demo track “Charlene” with the addition of vocals from the Bastard Suns new female co-vocalist. Speaking of which, the female vocals add a totally new dimension to the Suns sound and reminds me of the early Bim Skala Bim stuff.
In all honesty I enjoyed “Long Live Song” but overall, I don’t fell the energy and excitement that previous Suns efforts emanated. I really enjoyed the ska tracks and a handful of the punk tracks, but something just feels like it’s missing. Maybe it’s my own personal preferences of unpredictable tracks that could go in any direction or maybe this new iteration of the Bastard Suns has yet to get their feet off the ground. I’m not going to count this band out for a minute and am anxiously waiting to catch them on their upcoming tour and for the many albums that are likely to follow.
Bottom Line: A solid album influenced by everything from country music and folk punk to Bad Religion, Authority Zero and Operation Ivy, but lacks the energy of previous Bastard Suns releases.
Notable Tracks: Right Place/Wrong Time, Enlighten Up, Charlene, Feel Free, Long Live Song