New Jersey?s Streetlight Manifesto cuts across musical genres, alternatively mixing and matching ska, punk and jazz vibes.
The band and singer/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky have amassed a cult following of fans who await every tour and album release with bated breath, myself included. If you are new to Streetlight Manifesto, get better acquainted with any of the band?s top five albums:
5. 99 Songs of Revolution Vol 1. (2010)
This album gets the #5 spot since it?s a cover album, with only one track written by Kalnoky. But the band uses the album as a chance to pay tribute to their influences. The album goes out of it?s way to re-imagine these songs and arrange them in ways that the original songwriters would have never imagined them being performed. They take NOFX?s punk anthem ?Linoleum? and turn it into an acoustic jam with violin accompaniment, and turned The Postal Service?s indie pop masterpiece ?Such Great Heights? and replaced all of the synths with horns and turn this minimalist song into a lively rock song. It?s a very interesting album in their discography.
4. Keasbey Nights (2006)
Kalnoky actually released this album with his old band Catch 22, which was signed the same label, Victory Records. The label wanted to re-release the album unchanged, so Kalnoky suggested rerecording it with Streetlight Manifesto and thus Keasbey Nights 2.0 was born. It?s a different sounding album since Kalnoky wrote all of the songs while in high school. It definitely is the most Ska-Punk of all of their records, and the writing is filled with a youthful energy that makes it an enjoyable part of the band?s catalogue.
3. The Hands That Thieve (2013)
The Hands That Thieve is by far Streetlight Manifesto?s most adult album. It builds on Somewhere In The Between?s anti-religious themes and themes of mental health, deceit and challenging authority. The band?s pulls out the acoustic guitar and upright bass a lot on this album, which is common for their live performances, but was a fairly new element for their studio albums. The band trades in a lot of their youthful energy of the past and replaces it with a maturity in their compositions that is interesting and worth a listen.
2. Everything Goes Numb (2003)
The band?s debut album tells you everything you need to know about them. Complex horn lines at breakneck tempos complemented by thought-provoking lyrics and a rhythm section that ties it all together. With themes of death and suicide the album is a bit macabre, but it?s punk rock energy and interesting composition (It samples Johannes Brahms for Pete?s sake) truly make it more than just a Ska-Punk album, and set them apart from their peers.
1. Somewhere In The Between (2007)
Somewhere In The Between is without a doubt among my favorite albums of all time, with it?s title track being my personal favorite song, so bear with me while I gush about it. This album is a masterclass of how to use dynamics throughout an album. Kalnoky and Co. took their songwriting to a new level from Everything Goes Numb by incorporating more of a world music flavor into their music which adds an interesting element. It?s high paced thrill ride that I could not recommend any more than I already do. Go listen to it.
All of these records and more are available at www.riscstore.com.