Produced by Oingo Boingo bassist John Avilla, the latest release from Orange County’s ska kingpin marks the group’s first record since Modified arrived back in 1999. And although the reggae-fueled lead-off single is entitled “New Sound,” Checkered Past oozes just the opposite – and yes, Virginia, that IS a very good thing.
Scrappier than ever, founding frontchick Monique Powell leads her latest line-up through an irresistible five-course experience – one splashed with spicy horns and peppered with salty language.
I’ve always subscribed personally to the tried and true show biz mantra of, “always leave ’em wanting more.” And as someone who struggles a bit with ADD, I love the EP format – hit me with your absolute best bits and then GET OFF THE FREAKING STAGE! Save Ferris accomplishes this perfectly with Checkered Past.
The familiar-sounding, “Anything” kicks off the record like a friendly bear hug from an old college buddy who’s out on “early release.” In a similar fashion, “Golden Silence” is a super-feisty, signature-style treasure.
Dealing with a dysfunctional relationship on the skids, “Do I Even Like You?” makes for a hilarious highlight, while the “Stir it Up”-flavored “Goodbye Brother” closes out the mini album beautifully.
In sum, kudos to Save Ferris! Welcome back to the “New Release” bin – 18 years has been way too long.