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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Oreskaband
Ore
Sony Music Japan

Rating: 9/10 ?


April 26, 2007
Rivers Cuomo high school dream sequence: Six Japanese teen girls start a ska band, they make commercials for Pocky, get signed by a major label in Japan, and travel the world before they even turn twenty. That's all mighty impressive, but even more so is the music they make. It's amazing how talented these girls are.

Oreskaband's debut album, Ore, only has six tracks on it, but that's enough to make your ears dance with joy. The troupe's take on ska is of such a happy and energetic (well, ska in itself is energetic) kind that it's impossible not to get up and move to the frenetic beats. From the opening track "Pantime" - which when I first heard it could swear was borne of an invitation for techno princess Mu to stop over for a vocal guest appearance - to the closing "The Boy-S," Ore is non-stop, happy, kick-ass party music. It's the kind of music you want to be the soundtrack to that perfect barbeque, with good friends, beer and burgers, that you only dare dreaming of throughout the winter. The young ladies of Oreskaband label their music "entertainment ska-rock", which is a perfectly appropriate tag, because that's just what it is. They keep their promise, and deliver great songs.

As mentioned, Ore is comprised of only six tracks. "Pantime" opens the release with a short introduction to the band and the songs to follow. The hysterical Mu-like vocalist shouts something in Japanese, which is followed by a quick "Showtime!" and the party starts. "Yeah! Ska Dance," the song that was featured in the Pocky commercials in Japan, follows. Frenetic back-beats accompanied by trumpet, saxophone and the magnificent singing of vocalists Ikasu and Tomi turns the two-minute song into a tiny ska masterpiece. The debut US single "Pinocchio" follows and is a strange choice for a single, since it is arguably Ore's weakest track, which is not to say that it is bad - it's actually awesome, just not as superb as the other songs.

"Knife & Fork" is another ska anthem, albeit a little more pop than the others, and I can't help but think of No Doubt circa Tragic Kingdom when I hear it. The girls then deliver a song that needs no further introduction, a cover of ska classic "Monkey Man," and a great version of it, with hand claps and all. The closing "The Boy-S" is the most uptempo track on the album, and the point at which I really wish I understood Japanese, since the vocals shine the brightest throughout this song.

When I listened to Oreskaband the first time I had the kitchen door open, some sunshine warmed my pale feet, and right outside the door some birds were making noise (and possibly love). Had it been warmer (ie- not the Bostonian kind of spring), I would have called in sick, opened up a beer, sat down in the sun, and just enjoyed life. Oreskaband makes me want to be a carefree slacker. Who knows, if I keep listening to Ore maybe I'll shrug off my responsibilities, and if Oreskaband keep releasing material this good, it's just a matter of time until the transformation to a free spirit is complete.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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