The Gadjits

The Gadjits

At Ease


Three brothers from the Midwest form a band and get signed to a big-name label. No, it’s not another insipid Hanson record, these are the Phillips brothers and their band is the Gadjits. They’re probably sick of the comparison, but then, titling one of their songs “Sh’Bop” does nothing but encourage it. At any rate, the similarities end there, because rather than playing insipid, weak pop songs, the Gadjits play a unique brand of ska. While they show an obvious Operation Ivy influence, they’ve twisted that around deftly. Where OpIvy fused pop-punk to ska, the Gadjits have removed the punk element and replaced it with 60s-style soul for a sound all their own.

Listening to tracks like “Tell Yourself,” “Traffic Tickets,” and “Holes in My Shoes,” you’ll trace the obvious influence, but the Gadjits groove where OpIvy would have punk-rocked out. Thus, while the tracks are fun and peppy, they don’t go on adrenaline overload. Of course, the OpIvy connection is intensified by the fact that the record is produced by Tim Armstrong, himself an ex-OpIvy member. At Ease has a mellow mood, soulful, smooth vocals, and a solid rhythmic base. The Phillips brothers are adeptly aided by some amazing keyboard work from their fourth member, non-relation Heidi Blobaum, especially on “Sh’Bop” and the rockabilly rave-up “Need Yo’ Love.” The record is loaded with poppy hooks that will have you humming the tunes for days, from the demented Schoolhouse Rock gone bad of “Bullet in the Mattress” to the surfy instrumental “Corpse I Fell in Love With,” to the sweet soul of the album-closing “Beautiful Girl.”

At Ease is a fun little record with a distinctive sound. One can only hope that the Phillips brothers will be even more successful than their evil counterparts, the Hansons. Hellcat Records, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives