Whenever I travel I try to pick up local music, especially when I go overseas. Even the biggest name acts in other countries are often unknown here in the US, so there’s a ton of great stuff to find. It’s not always as “easy” to do when I travel here in the US, though, since that requires more of a dive into the underground. It’s not like I was going to grab albums by Kanye and The Smashing Pumpkins on my recent trip to Chicago, after all. And unfortunately there was no “local” section over at Reckless Records, so that wasn’t an option either. Lucky for me then that I came across this ska EP by Heavy Manners in the New Arrivals bin, because the State of Illinois sign right on the cover made me stop and look it up. And lo and behold, they’re from Chicago. And it’s ska, which I don’t have a lot of, so for five bucks why not?
There’s definitely a ska undercurrent to the rhythm section on Politics & Pleasure‘s half-dozen songs, though the vocals are more new wave. Some enjoyable stuff, particularly the closer “On The Way Down”, which is probably the most pop song on the record. A tad dated, but still a fun spin.