Skankin’ Foolz Unite!

uptones-sfu108Fun Fun Fun Recordings has outdone themselves this time.

The label is proud to announce the release of  The Uptones 1st studio CD, “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!” The Uptones, “Best of the East Bay” Ska band, has been together for over twenty years. These Berkeley Ska pioneers have created a sensational CD of 15 great songs.

Read Rob O’Connor’s review for Yahoo Music:

Upbeat without forcing the party, Berkeley, California’s ska-veterans The Uptones return with their first studio album in decades, nailing down a bottom end that cements the groove with horns that reach for the stratosphere. The years have betrayed them none. Four original members augmented by an additional fantastic four, the eight-piece cruise with neither nostalgia nor a rusted gear. Initially, the studio might not seem the place to capture a definitive live act – their most noted release being the concert album The Uptones Live!! 924 Gilman – but one spin of “Ridiculous” and its spirited bleeps and yelps and it’s obvious this band will produce for a party of one if it must. (“Too Much Pressure” is credited as “Recorded Live at iMusicast” in 2005.) The added fidelity a genuine recording studio provides means bassist Bennie Wood and drummer Tim Carter aren’t left in the sonic dust. With three horn players – trombone, trumpet and tenor sax, for those at home keeping score – the blare is most obviously attention getting, but Eric Din’s vocals lead the troops with the same spirited play that made the Clash sound like revolutionaries.

Virtuostic without enslaving itself to technique and incorporating elements of punk, jazz, ska and reggae, it’s obvious how and why the Uptones became a major influence on the ‘90s ska-punk scene that followed them out of the Berkeley ghetto. But while Operation Ivy, Rancid, Sublime, Green Day and countless others sport the group’s influences and inspirations, nothing replicates The Uptones melodic heart. These aren’t just festive jams but terse, tough shards of song. Whether it’s the suspected tenderness of “Not From Here,” the charmed pop life of “I Don’t Know Emilie,” or the instrumentation breakdown of “Radiation Boy” where the band appear to be playing sideways, the Uptones now exist as seasoned pros who never lost their mojo in the grinding machinations of the music business. If anything, the years have made them stronger, more determined to wring life from every rhythm, to deny defeat at every chorus. Long may they skank.

The Uptones

Skankin’ Foolz Unite!

(Fun Fun Fun)

–Rob O’Connor

Hear it!

Own it!

12 thoughts on “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!”

  1. Capturing the Uptones in the studio is no easy feat. With the mighty Michael Rosen’s help, I think I’ve helped The Uptones make a great recording. Each member of The Uptones is a tremendous musician in their own right, but together, these Ska lovers, are an overpowering musical force. Working with them is challenging, but great fun. I hope you take the time to listen the Skankin’ Foolz Unite.

  2. Yay, thanks Matthew! I have to say you named your record company well -it’s fun to play the songs live for our fans, it was fun to record them live in the studio, and it’s fun to see them get out there into the world intact! You and Michael are an amazing team, this record couldn’t have been made with anyone else. Looking forward to more shows and another batch of recordings – we have some good ones brewing! Oh and Moose, you’re right, they put us under “Alternative!” Alternative to what? We’re a Ska band!

  3. From generation to generation!!!
    I’m passing down the Uptones to my daughter!
    We were visiting SF….on Haight St with my
    16 year old when we went looking for the new
    Uptones CD in Amoeba Records.
    This brought back so many fond memories of when
    I was her age and bought LP’s there and was the
    biggest Uptones fan. I traveled to every gig
    possible back then and it remains to this day the most
    fantastic memories….skankin to the Uptones!
    Thanks for all the great music you make and with the new tunes
    I can continue making memories…with my teenager now.
    Julie B.

  4. Phil, our music is available everywhere on the web.

    If you can’t find our CDs in your favorite record store, do us a favor and ask for them for it. We wouldn’t even mind you demanding them, but don’t be rude on our account.

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