Spent some time browsing the Epitaph Records website recently and found some things of interest on a number of bands….
Hepcat: For those who dont know Hepcat, they are an L.A. band that play an infectious style of ska that resurrects the rythms and swagger of the Studio One music that came out of Jamaica in the 1960s. They are re-releasing their first album Out of Nowhere and are celebrating with a few rare tour dates. If you are anywhere near any of these shows I recommend that you go see them. I saw them on the original Out of Nowhere tour in the early 1990s and they just blew me away. If you cant see them live, check out the CD or at the very least get the free mp3. You can find out more here. Pulley are a California based quintet that plays driving punk that fits somewhere in between pop and hardcore. Their new album, Matters is set to be released on April 6, 2004. This album, produced by Matt Hyde (Slayer, No Doubt, Fu Manchu), has a bit more of an edge to it than earlier works but still contains the hooks that stick in your head for days. I have heard two songs on this album (thanks to free mp3s from Epitaph) as well as some of their other material. These guys are worth checking out.
The Special Goodness is a side project of Weezer drummer Pat Wilson and current Offspring member Atom Willard (Formerly of Rocket From the Crypt). Their album Land, Air, Sea was released in January of this year and the two tracks that I have heard sound great. Their song “Life Goes By” reminds me a bit of Soundgarden or the Queens of the Stone Age with its driving guitar, although these guys are a bit more “emo” than either of those two bands. Check them out here.
One final note from Epitaph is that Bad Religion is re-releasing 4 albums spanning the 80s and 90s as well as a brand new album. For these guys all songs are political, and the Reagan and Bush administrations of the 80s and 90s provided them with plenty of fodder to lash out at church, state and the status quo. If you are a Bad Religion fan, or have only heard their more recent stuff, these albums will give you a glimpse of their early sound.