UK’s Beat Union had the unexpected happen to them earlier this week while touring in Canada. Their tour van and trailer, full of their equipment, were stolen from outside a hotel the band was staying at. It looked as if the band was going to have to call it quits until they could get back on their feet. Luckily for them (unlike Iggy Pop‘s incident at the beginning of August) the Edmonton police were able to recover the vehicle and badly damaged trailer.
The van sustained minimal damage but due to a high speed chase the trailer was not in the best of shape. With the back wheels missing from the high pursuit and damage to the frame it needed serious attention before it would be used again.
It took all but moments for the van to be stolen. One of the band members slept in the van as security while the others were in the hotel. Lead singer David Warsop decided to leave the van for 20 minutes to take a shower. While the van was unoccupied someone decided to steal it and the attached trailer.
At first the band did not think they would recover any of the $28,000 worth of equipment and personal belongings. Upon recovery only minimal items were discovered taken such as a scooter, a white Gibson firebird guitar, a couple of cameras, clothing, and passports. Crack pipes and condom wrappers were found in the van and trailer as a replacement for the stolen items. The band was more upset based upon the fact that some shows had to be canceled as they waited for repairs to be completed on the trailer.
Thanks to the Edmonton police crew and most notably their police dog Knight, who took down one of the suspects at the end of the chase, the band will play on. Already involved in their nice sized North American tour and just having wrapped up their Warped Tour stint, this was the last thing the band needed.
UK pop punkers Beat Union previously released Disconnected at the beginning of the summer, unknown to me. The band first grabbed my attention when I caught their live set at the Vans Warped Tour 2008 and much to my surprise, they are a first-class act. Their take on punk rock mixed with elements of new wave really was fun to listen to, not to mention their stage presence was outstanding. Disconnected is the band’s debut CD and was released under Science Records.
CD opener “Disconnected” started with a very catchy style that easily could be the next hit song to hit the airwaves. The song reminded me of what the Proclaimers or XTC might sound like if they were punkers. “Pressure Zone” followed with typical lyrics, a great bass line, and added horns making for a great listen.The very Elvis Costello like “My Heart Starts Beating” was likable and seemed to focus on the pop and strayed from the punk. “Dancing In Our Sleep” seemed to follow the same trend but suddenly erupted with a nice little “whoa” sing-a-long ending.
“Stay On The Line” has lyrics along with great guitar sounds that potentially may get stuck in your head as it stands out as the most likable track on the CD for me. It’s just one of those songs you start thinking about later after listening to it and suddenly the chorus is repeating in your mind. “She Is The Bullet” followed and with a monotonous beginning to the song thankfully erupted with energy.
“Can’t Stop The Radio” was my personal favorite track on the album. It was very suggestive of UK punk and new wave artists from the past and just sounded excellent all the way though. “Don’t Have Love” was another track I got a kick out of. There is even a secret dub-style remix of “Can’t Stop The Radio” that in my opinion blew away all of the other tracks. I almost wish the entire CD was dub inspired, regardless though, it was a good listen from beginning to end.
For a debut release, it sounds like these guys have been recording albums for years. Perhaps the solid sounds were tweaked out by producer/front man of Goldfinger, John Feldmann. Regardless, Beat Union has won me over as a fan seeing them live and also thanks to Disconnected.
I am really happy the band decided to travel overseas and introduce themselves to the US by playing here over the summer or I might have overlooked them. I am even more excited to hear they are going to be touring with Flogging Molly later this year which means a longer live set.This band has plenty of potential and seems to have ignored those who think they are just a fashioned mainstream band that will soon disappear. Even if they do replicate the English Beat or the Clash in a sense, the band has a great upbeat sound and I am really looking seeing more of them very soon.
3OH!3 (pronounced 3-OH!-3) is far from your ordinary band. For instance, when I downloaded the CD to my iPod it was listed as an unclassifiable genre and that is an understatement. Debuting with WANT, the twosome white-boy rap/rock duo certainly have released material worth talking about as they have mixed up elements of crunk, punk, electronica, and even emo, making for an energy overload album.
Hailing from the streets of… umm… Boulder, the duo have discarded their college educations in favor of creating some of the best crunk rock dance party tracks I have ever heard. Already debuting on the Top 10 on the iTunes album chart, the band has also gained attention from Alternative Press Magazine naming them one of AP’s one hundred bands you need to know.
3OH!3 stands for the area code that front men Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte represent. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the duo met while studying physics in college and discovered one another’s love for underground hip hop. The mutual fixation for a genre of music that is rarely handled in the capitol of hippies brought the two united to create 3OH!3 and before they knew it they were selling out local clubs with their high strung dancing layered on top of their truly unique genre-bashing music.
“Punk Bitch” was the first track I heard from these guys and I must admit I thought they were a Lil John wannabe project. Not until halfway through the song did I realized this was not really a rap act but something much more entertaining. The opening to the song imitated lots of crunk music I have heard before, but as you go through the song you start to hear a blend of crunk and emo, something I did not think was possible until now. The result is an infectious track that I have listened to over and over. This gangster emo track will be getting the clubs moving for sure this year.
The third track “Don’t Trust Me” has the greatest refrain ever: “Shush girl, shut your lips. Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.” Dance like Helen Keller? Who the hell writes something like this? How offensive… I loved it. I can only see it now, a forbidden dance called the Helen Keller created from this track. Aside from the crude lyrics talking of a no-name groupie, this track is full of danceable music that is far from annoying.
Sounding almost like what Electric Six would sound like if they collaborated with Lil John & The Eastside Boyz is “I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby”. The electronic beats alone surpass a lot of crap I have heard in the clubs or on the radio, and once the interesting, whiny, emo cry solo was slammed with their tough ass rap lyrics I was addicted.
“Star Struck” has more of a R&B feel a la Kenna mixed with hard electronics and a beat that pretty much has been stuck in my head since I first heard the sexually suggestive song. Then there are the full on rap tracks “Choke Chain” that you will be singing along with and “Photofinnish” that reminded me of the Faint but excessively crunked out.
Just when I thought things were insane enough, “Still Around” started up. This slow sensitive track regarding the love of a special something really proves to me these guys are not just out there to jump around and get the party rioting. The lyrics at times were predictable but the music and the idea of the song is sweet and almost depressing, especially if you have been in the situation of which they sing.
No need to be too depressed though, because “Holler ’til You Pass Out” brings back all that energy that was paused for a moment with a full blown anthem all about representing the city of Boulder. This track is tough, addictive, and fun and I wanted more once it was over.
Want might very well be the most fun CD I have heard all year and at this moment I am addicted to 3OH!3 and their crazy ass music. These guys have something a little gangster, a lot insane, and damn well genus. If you are looking for something a tad different from the norm yet catchy at the same time then 3OH!3 is where it’s at.
Already stealing the show at the 2008 Warped Tour with their high vigor, including their hilarious onstage presence, this is one band you need to experience especially if you are in need some new pickup lines to rifle off to the ladies.
Just in case you wanted to hear what they sound like or what the hype is all about:
(Warning, as with many crunk infused tracks, there is a lot of cussing on this video. Like truck driver cussing…. Play accordingly)