Heeled Jack USA - Songs From Suburbia
a Little Bit of Fun Wherever They Go
just the run-of-the-mill band playing ska-punk because that's
what's big." Spring Heeled Jack USA is a pretty
damn good band. I am not the biggest fan of ska, because
I find that a lot of it all sounds the same. Luckily
for me, when I got ahold of this CD I had an open mind.
If I had been stubborn and just fluffed them off as "another
ska band" I would have missed out on a good CD.
Songs from Suburbia
is an impressive album. It is is their first album with
Ignition Records and their first major label release.
Their first full-length release was "Static World View"
and was released in 1996 on Moon Ska Records.
Spring Heeled Jack
is not a strictly ska band. As Ron (guitar, vocals)
has been quoted as saying, "You want to add different
aspects of what else you like. Everyone in the band
isn't a total ska freak who listens to ska and nothing else.
Everyone's into different things for different moods."
This mixture of backgrounds lends toward a more fulfilling
musical experience. They are one of those bands where
you can tell they are having fun with the music. (Track
2, "Jolene", is a song about the tour van they started
out with; a "piece of crap van" which stalled every
hour or so). Although they are labeled as a ska band,
and the ska influence is pronounced, there are other influences
in there as well. "Songs from Suburbia" has
rock and pop influences as well. In fact, track 3 is
titled "Pop Song (Green)" and is one of my favorites
on this album.
So what kind of
stuff do these guys sing about, you ask? As Ron says,
"Stupid stuff with girls, stupid stuff with bands, stupid
stuff with drinking - just a bunch of stupid stuff that comes
together to tell a little story about suburbia."
Even though Ron describes it as being "stupid stuff"
it comes across in a little more impressive way. Their
audience is from suburbia, so they are addressing the audience.
Mike Pelligrino has an excellent voice to offer for lead vocals.
It is not too hoarse or nasal, as is found in some less impressive
ska bands I have listened to.
When you are sitting
around, thinking "Man, I am sick of my music collection.
I have heard it all way too many times, so I need to get another
CD. Hmm, what should I get?" You should
answer that question with a quick "Oh I know, Spring
Heeled Jack's Songs from Suburbia. I hear they
are pretty good. Yeah, I am not a ska fan, but I hear
they are pretty good." Yes, that is the answer
I will be looking for. This is an excellent CD to help
round the music collection. Likewise, if you are already
a big ska fan, you know you need this CD. They are a
great band who has opened for various acts including The Mighty
Mighty Bosstones and Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Besides,
they're just a band who is "basically out to have a good
time and not push any messages."
Heeled Jack USA
out of 5.0