Right On Time


Hepcat is one of the best traditional ska bands in the known universe. A new record from this band is a reason to rejoice. Right On Time, their third record for as many labels, is a slow builder. You’ll need to give it a few listens before it really grabs you. Once it does, you won’t want to let it go; I had difficulty getting myself to listen to any of the other stuff I had to review this month after this record wormed its way into my consciousness.

The winner of “The ‘Bobby and Joe’ Memorial Award for the Catchiest Track on the Record” goes to “No Worries,” a tune that’s more infectious than the common cold. If this song doesn’t get a crowd dancing and singing along with the “tra la la la la la” chorus, said crowd is most likely in a coma. Other tracks that you’ll have stuck in your head, demanding you listen to them again, include the Venice Shoreline Chris co-written ” I Can’t Wait,” the romantic “Goodbye Street,” and the Los Hooligans-like instrumental “Pharaoh’s Dreams.” The track that will probably garner the most interest, though, is “Open Season… is Closed,” an answer to the Stubborn All-Stars’ “Open Season.” It’s a really fun track that showcases what the long-neglected DJ aspect (the forerunner of dancehall, hip-hop, and rap) of ska is all about. Hepcat’s Alex Desert picks up SAS’s challenge admirably and amusingly, and I can’t wait to hear what the response will be!

Really, though, there’s not a bum track on the entire album. Right On Time is a stunner from open to close, and another jewel in the Hepcat crown. If you haven’t been converted yet, you will be! Hellcat Records, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026; http://www.hell-cat.com

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