Album Review:The Baker Skateboards EP(2016)

2016-03-15 15.29.12

Skater songs have certainly changed from back in the Stone Ages when I used to say shit like “Rad Board Dude”, and “Gnarly”. I went through a phase in my teens when I hung out with dudes that wore Vans, spending time riding boards and BMX bikes. We would jump ramps, grind railings and usually wipe out. The odd time we did a cool trick but we were just posers. We liked our tunes though. I would bring the metal, someone else brought punk, some others brought rock and we would crank the blaster and do some innocent hell raising(minus the Trooper).

Welcome to 2016. Baker Skateboards are a relatively new comer to the game. I had not even heard of them before this compilation(which isn’t saying much since I have been out of the scene for around 3 decades). They have gathered 5 musical acts together to promote the sport and their brand. If they convinced an out of shape, way past his prime old fart like me to buy the EP, that says something about the talent involved.

End To End by Earthless – This was the entire reason I bought the album. I went to the Earthless concert last night, and bought this from the merch booth(I even got the band to sign it). This is the first Earthless song released since 2013, so it is something fans have been waiting a long time for. It is also very rare since it includes vocals, and is much shorter than most Earthless songs. Earthless are described as an instrumental psychedelic rock band. I can tell you from seeing them live, they truly do bring it. It is kind of like going back in time to 1970 and seeing an epic, 2 hour non stop version of a live Led Zeppelin show minus Robert Plant. Smashing drums, wailing guitar and enough booming bass to knock down buildings. This song however is a little different. I would say more Sabbathy at the start. Screeching feedback mixed with guitar and drums begin the song off. The vocals begin and sound like a mix of Neil Fallon (Clutch) and possibly early Ted Nugent. The sludge fades into a psychedelic Hendrix and the guitar work takes over. This song alone is well worth the price I paid for this album, I just wish there were more. I hope this means we will be seeing more Earthless songs featuring vocals, as this was a nice touch.

Friday by Pell – This has a nice trumpet to begin this song off. It sounds like a nice jazz number. Then the electronic drum beat and the rhyming begins. It is a nice number. I’m certainly not into dance/rap any longer, but this one is not annoying. It has a good beat, the vocals are well placed, the bass is booming, and the rapping is well done. I prefer my music to not be made by machines, but I do respect that this type of music is an artform loved by millions.

Giving Up The Ghost by Zig Zags – Fast paced, hard rocking song. It has kind of a 70’s Deep Purple/Judas Priest feel to it. I have never heard of this band before, but I definitely will check them out more.

Wave Function by Denmark Vessey – This song begins with computer sounds and it has sort of an electronica song feel to it. Then the slamming bass and dance/rap vocals begin. Another song that has deceived me into thinking it is one thing, then turning into another. The vocals repeating on a loop and real bad electronic drums are definitely not my thing. I am sure the boarders in 2016 will appreciate this more than me.

Goatshow by The Goat & The Occasional Others – Another band I have never hear of. The song has a punk feel to it. All about wanting to go to a Goatshow. I think I’ll pass that show, but I do like the song. Not as fast as most punk songs, but has the feel of dissidence bubbling just below the surface. Another band I will look into.

So overall, 2 awesome songs, 1 really good song, 1 good song, and 1 I could do without. Not bad considering the target audience is 2 or 3 decades my junior. There are official places online to search for a free download of at least some of the songs from this album, or better yet, go see Earthless live and pick up a physical copy. Win/Win.

If I were to score the 3 songs I really dig, it would be much closer to perfect, however overall I would give this a 8.5/10

 

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