On the Agents’ new release for Radical Records, they lace their ska-reggae with more swing band style and less punk with effective results. Jason Dalomba’s amphetamine vocals are ably backed by the stellar rhythm punch of Kris Branco and Jay Medieros, but it’s the horn section (especially the interplay of Frank Moniz’s tenor sax and Dawn Hamel’s staccato trumpet) that gives The Agents their punch. Hard to sit still when this baby is cranking.
Basically, you either like this stuff or you don’t. The Agents are one of the better practitioners of the art, always funky, danceable and über-rhythmic, but if a record full of ska starts to sound the same to you after 10 minutes, this probably won’t change your mind. But if you are tired of skateboard punk bands trying to sound rasta, give 401 a try before giving up on the genre.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…READ the article