Ah, Voodoo Glow Skulls. What can be said? People familiar with (and who like) the crazed, manic, and frenetic long-running California ska-core/punk band will be quite pleased with what they get on 'Adicci�n, Tradici�n, Revoluci�n', VGS' impressive seventh album to date. (I know I am!) Basically, after all these years and albums, it's kind of a given what these madmen have in store for us, which is just hyper and psychotic ska-core replete with killer horns (now provided by a THREE-man horn section) and infectious riffs care of Eddie Casillas, all fixed into place by drummer Jerry O'Neill and bassist Jorge Casillas' worthy skills enveloping either English or Spanish lyrics sung by Frank Casillas in his distinctive raspy tone. From their debut album, '93's smashing 'Who Is? This Is?', to '97's 'Baile de los Locos', up to their last outing, 'Steady As She Goes' (their first for Victory), VGS have maintained this winning, original formula. And, truly, why should they mess with anything when they execute it so well?
And on this record, their signature sound is as full and meaty as ever, best showcased, in this reviewer's humble opinion, on songs such as the raucous (and cleverly-titled) "Eville", the super-speedy maniacal "Disaster", the fantastically insane and heavy opener "Ghettoblaster", and ALL the Spanish-language numbers, namely "Dia de los Muertos" (THE best?!) and the dark, unrelenting title track. Still, they do rock hard on slower numbers like "Enter the Dragon" and showcase more of a trad-ska vibe on compositions like "Smile Now, Cry Later". As usual, the lyrics cover a bevy of topics, including some socio-political commentary, as exemplified on "Mayhem & Murder" where Frank sings, "Politicians, terrorists/Power-hungry governments/Blame it on the president/Nuclear weapons still exist," but also can be more irreverent and light-hearted, like the silly "DD Don't Like Ska". Oh yeah, and they end it all with a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Used to Lover Her". Bottom line: you like VGS, you like 'Adicci�n, Tradici�n, Revoluci�n'. It's quite simple, really, and it's nice to know there are some things in this world you can count on � VGS bringing the quality ska-core, is happily one of them.
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A Body In The Gears