Miasmics - You Just Gotta Trust It
Release Date: 2005
Record Label: Homefront Records
When an albums cover art depicts a freight train heading straight in a risk-takers direction, one would generally expect that something big would be coming. New Jersey's Miasmics did not dissapoint. With their second full-length release You Just Gotta Trust It, these seven musicians manage to blend together everything a ska fan could ever. Whether their electic arrangement of harmonies is being played on the fast third-wave upstrokes, or on the danceable two-tone chords, The Miasmics manage to deliver at all opportunities. You Just Gotta Trust It contains thirteen tracks of pure musical ability, ranging from powerful ska anthems, to relaxed summer afternoon sing-alongs, and recorded at the hands of legenedary ska-god King Django.
The record kicks itself off with "Ska Bathroom", an interesting, spy-esque instrumental. The very beginning of the opener contains a snazzy, electronic voice alert with a quick reminder of who your listening to. "M-I-A-S-M-I-C-S." That's correct. May these gentlemans name not be forgotten. Musically, the track is quite reminiscent of The Toasters, but with a bit more of a jubilant edge. The power of the bands horn section is surprisingly well-arranged, with a bright display of each of the sections members, which is comprised of trombonists Matt Ryan and Steve Palatucci, trumpeter Andrew Lyman, and saxophonist Matt 'Shooby' Schoenebaum. The records third track, "Trapped", which is quite easily the strongest of the handful offered, is a slower-paced, laid-back jam. The vocals are raw, yet passionate and powerful at the same time. Most notably, the band proves their ability to create a strong song structure, containing an even stronger chorus. "Hell Froze Over" is a bouncy, sing-along that is positively delightful. Although nothing groundbreaking, the horn lines and singing patterns combine together to form an enjoyable gem that any listener is bound to end up bobbing their head to. On the other hand, "This Song Was Kept Short in Order to Hold Your Attention Span" is rather unenertaining, and quite thankfully enough just over a minute in length. "Dreamer" is a very relaxed ska/reggae song that shows pleasurable influences from the earliest musicians of those particular genres. The records eleventh track, "Slow Down", incorporates a fantasticly-arranged horn line, before pounding in to a buoyant array of upstrokes. Following the first chorus comes a quick, but impressive solo display from guitarist Dean Nevolis. "April Night" drops the pace a few notches to close the album out, and presents a comfortable vibe to end the experience on.
Lyrically, the band is nothing out of the ordinary, and surely nothing to write home about, but much alike a good majority of other bands of a similar style, the lyrics aren't written to be the up front, attention-grabber. Musically, The Miasmics are quite the opposite, and surely have more than enough to hower. All the presented instruments each prove their consistency in creating infectious harmonies, and snatch up any opportunity to throw their undeniable talent in the spotlight. Each of the seven members are exceptional at what they do, and quite oftently enough outdo themselves time and time again. However, an album recorded at the hands of King Django shouldn't contain much less, should it? That's a good question. But, let fact be known, The Miasmics are not just another ska band.
You Just Gotta Trust It positively boasts with excellence from start to finish. As expected, a few tracks in the mix don't quite live up to what the band has proved they are fully capable of, but that's nothing to toss this record aside for. From the roaring, opening instrumental, to the the relaxing finish, The Miasmics shine over and over, breaking the barriers that bind ska music to ska listeners alone. Turn your volume up; The Miasmics are coming.