BANDGEEK MAFIA - Paint Your Target

Bandgeek Mafia - Paint Your Target

12 songs
42:34 minutes
***** ***
Long Beach


Calling themselves after a legendary Voodoo Glow Skulls album, you can guess from the beginning that The Bandgeek Mafia is a ska band, but they opt for a different musical alignment than their Southern Californian influence. The sextet from Trier is actually more ska core than ska punk, although that’s mostly because of the searingly heavy guitar. The vocals are predominantly very melodic, a little borrowed from the Chicago emo school, although occasional screamo outbursts set a nice counterpoint to the band’s more emotional side.

The horn section is astonishingly fit, considering that we are in the presence of only a debut album, but massive previous touring activities must have helped develop experience. Biggest asset for the Bandgeek Mafia are the tremendous songwriting skills. Where many ska bands often are chugging through averagely good and mildly entertaining material, this young band is consistently delivering excellent songs, and especially in the first half they have some über-songs like Consequences or Facelift. The latter is even featured twice, with an acoustic version closing the three quarter hour long album in a way that reminds me of the unplugged Bayside material.

Trier is neither Berlin nor Hamburg, and there have very rarely been bands from that ancient city that made it big, but the Bandgeek Mafia definitely have the talent and hopefully the ambition to break free of the provincial chains of their hometown. If these guys were from the USA, you can bet they might soon become the next big hype. It’s already nearly bordering on insolence how professional they are sounding on Paint Your Target. With such an accomplished debut to call their own, let’s hope that the future will have them release even more such amazing melodic ska core albums. Definitely worth to be checked out by all those who like Catch 22, Streetlight Manifesto and the likes.

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