Review Summary: The Mad Caddies indeed keep it going on "Keep It Going," their latest record released in 2008. Full of head-bobbing songs containing their particular style of reggae/ska, the Caddies fail to disappoint.
A slight sound of delayed guitar, before the Caddies bust out into their style of muted trumpet and distorted guitars on "The Dirge." Keep It Going
is a fine effort from the Mad Caddies and will keep one interested through out with their almost bluegrass style of reggae and ska. While that sounds odd, it's something you really need to hear to understand.
Containing simple laid-back songs such as Backyard
and Souls for Sale
, nothingis too challenging, but the nice horn work from trumpeteer Keith Douglas and trombonist Ed Hernandez is enough to soothe you into just relaxing and enjoying the music. While the work done by the 2-person horn section may not be as frantic as past efforts this is also a good thing as the brass doesn't overtake or command any of the songs and remains as nice ambiance.
However, as is typical of ska, though some songs may happy, many times the lyrics are more somber or serious than the music makes it seem. In State of Mind
Chuck Robertson sings; "I feel the weight of the world sometimes hanging on my head/ Look for the light at the end of this tunnel once again." The Caddies are very good at evoking introspective feelings in songs such as the aforementioned State of Mind
and Lay Your Head Down
Near the end of the CD however, the last 2 tracks take a different tone. Riding for a Fall
, my personal favorite, is a combo reggae/dub song with some light horns and features guest vocalist Black Uhuru. The lyrics are likely something that everyone can relate to:
"Someday, someone will make you cry
Then you're gonna have teardrops in your eyes
So go ahead and have your fun girl
Don't you know, I'm still in love with you girl
Go ahead and have yourself a ball
You're riding for a fall
While these may seem cliche, the music may make up for the cheesiness of the lyrics, and Chuck Robertson sings it with such sincerity that it makes one feel for him. Once again, the song seems as though it would be nothing special, but I find myself listening to it again and again as there is just something infectious about it.
Whatcha Gonna Do
follows along in the same vein as Riding for a Fall
. Beginning with some acoustic guitar with Chuck singing over it, it never really gets complicated and while catchy, seems like somewhat of a letdown after the last track. However, it's my opinion that though the CD may end a bit weak, the rest of it is strong enough to make up for it.
The Caddies keep themselves going with another strong record in Keep it Going
and prove that ska is not dead. Not if they have anything to say about it.
Souls for Sale
Riding for a Fall