Review Summary: The Delegates are masters of blending emotional reggae, heavy metal and punk.
Some of you may be familiar with a television show called “Brilliant But Cancelled”. Basically, the object of the show is to display programs that were put off the air, no matter how well written or entertaining they were. Most of these shows had an isolated group of devoted fans but never reached prime status. They deserved a longer life, a life where they could grow creatively and gain the attention and respect of more people. The same thing happens in the music world…bands disbanding after a brilliant album or two before they could ever achieve the notoriety due to them. Among these fallen potential legends of music is a “ska” group called The Delegates.
There’s no such thing as a punk band with horns in it. They’re classified as ska as soon as air can be heard through a brass instrument. No matter what they do, they can’t escape the checkered label others pin on their bands name. Not that The Delegates refute the claim that they are indeed a ska band. They call themselves one. In this day and age it is crucial to branch out in different musical directions to hone an original sound. The Delegates do this perfectly.
Streetlight Manifesto blew all us headphone helmets away with their emotionally driven six minute long anthems, but I’ll admit it’s not easy to tell the difference between each song and the effect soon wears off. Mad Caddies had impressive song variety, and they kept a sense of humor while being catchy but I still couldn’t take them completely seriously. Both of these artists lacked a strong political sense or any heavier darker material; something I could easily find in The Suicide Machines or Leftover Crack. But I can only take so many anti-establishment songs. With the sincerity, emotion and unforgettable harmonies of Streetlight, the infectiousness and diversity of the Mad Caddies combined with the social awareness and metal influences of Leftover Crack…The Delegates were the perfect punk band (containing horns and frequent up stroking).
“We All Taste the Same”, is a big juicy steak of a CD, with a side of buttery mashed potatoes, asparagus and a cold beer to slightly sedate your mind and release dopamine into your system. The song that would easily hook anyone is Something Wrong
. It brings to mind the words: epic, metal, and “I’ve never heard this before”. The rhythm is slow and foreboding. The vocals at first listen are harsh but completely in tune with everything.
Waiting For the End of History
reminds me of Against Me!, with an electric-folk style. The harmonized anger subsides with Stone Fox
, one of those songs that sound sad and hopeful simultaneously. Sometimes life gets you down, what with women being women, your job, your society…your barbecue ranch cheese burger. Supersize My Fast Food Life
, isn’t a happy go lucky duck into immaturity bands do to show that they’re just some fun lovin’muchachos. It’s minor chords baby, with tongue in cheek metaphors that pull off a grand ska metal jam. It is similar to their cover of Europe’s The Final Countdown
, where they manage to transform such a cheesy over the top song into something that’ll the scare the fear of judgment day right into you.
A World Without Hate
showcase some nice guitar shredding, proving they can play like the metal gods who obviously inspired them. It shifts just as easily into a hard hitting dub breakdown. The DJ Stole My Girlfriend
unfolds like the unfortunate story in a country song and it has a clever intro that sounds recorded from the radio.
The flow of “We All Taste the Same” never fails to be unpredictable. The core of the band is a punk rock outfit of drums, bass and guitar. The horns aren’t present every second, and only come in to compliment certain sections. If the horns were replaced with wailing lead guitar, The Delegates would sound like a ground breaking metal band, not just another ska group trying to define themselves. However, they are just another ska band that tried to define themselves, but they’re the best and still the freshest