Band: Kill LIncoln
Album: That’s Cool…in a Totally Negative and Destructive Way
Label: Jump Start Records
Ska is such a dirty word these days. Asking a friend if they want to go see a ska band is basically opening a door to statements such as “you still like ska??” Yes, ska became a very weird genre, really fast. A lot of bands were doing it really well, and then even more bands were doing it very poorly. Other than the household names of Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto, ska and ska-punk bands have been relatively dormant from the spotlight these days. In comes Washington, DC’s Kill Lincoln, who want to show that while they’re rooted mostly in pop-punk, horns and ska elements don’t have to be lame. With their debut release That’s Cool…in a Totally Negative and Destructive Way (here on out refered to as That’s Cool…), Kill Lincoln shows us that ska-punk is very much alive and well, and they’re here to be a welcome addition to your Summer soundtrack.
When you boil down Kill Lincoln’s new record That’s Cool…, the album is a really awesome debut pop-punk release. While this record has lots of ska influence, at it’s core the record is more like pop-punk in terms of its excessive use of catchy melodies, embrace of aggressiveness, and overall feel. If I could only say one thing about That’s Cool… it’s that this record is insanely fun, but extremely well written at the same time. Ska-punk bands can very easily drown out boring musicality with a catchy horn section here or there, but Kill Lincoln does a fantastic job of integrating and making sure that their band is one cohesive unit, not just the punks and then the horn section. “F is for Finished” is a great example of their ability to use all of their different influences and sounds in a really unique way where no instrument takes precedence. While the horns are in essence make Kill Lincoln and other ska bands unique, Kill Lincoln utilizes them in a way where none of the songs really sound the same. You can really hear cohesiveness between all the members of the horn section, where the three all work effortlessly off one another and that is probably due in large part due to great writing. I must say, I don’t agree with the choice of including a cover of The Movielife’s “Hand Grenade” on their label LP. With a track count that’s already limited to 10, I don’t think it was the right move to include a cover. Kill Lincoln is obviously talented, so I would have liked to see them stretch their legs a bit more there. That being said, the cover is a lot of fun.
Lyrically, the record deals a lot with the inner frustrations that come with being a 20-something. May it be having a friend who’s a loveable scumbag in “Brick” or figuring out what’s good for you in “Suburban Whoa,” singer Mike Sosinski takes all of his problems and concerns and puts them right on his sleeve, and does so in a really fun and energetic way. While I feel like the vocals take a backseat to the musicianship sometimes both musically and in the production, I think this album is more about having fun in the midst of a lot the uncomfortable situations and decisions that growing up has to offer. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the hilarious “Dad Fight,” which I feel is better off experienced rather than being told what it’s like. Simply put, it comes out of nowhere and is a ton of fun.
Kill Lincoln are still up and coming in the pop-punk/ska scene, but that didn’t stop them from releasing a polished record. If time serves them right and if they spend time really supporting and pushing this record, I could totally see this band getting the recognition that they deserve. That’s Cool… is digestible yet intricate, and deserves not just repeat spins, but spins in the company of friends as you embark on another care-free journey in the midst of summer 2013.
Written By: Tyler Osborne