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Let us all raise our cups high to bands like Keepin’ 6, breaths of fresh air in scenes that everyone has long thought to be stalled, or even worse, dead. The sound on Uncensored is a mix 90’s punk, modern sensibilities, ska, and a little metal, all stopping by a Tim Burton movie set for a little odd twang. This album would even be an impressive release for veterans, but as an independent debut album, a release of this high quality is something to stand in awe of indeed.

The band can’t be said to be treading new territory exactly, as the typical anti-government, socially conscious, anti-censorship, fuck (insert word here) punk themes are all here in droves, but the band’s attack is focused and keeps these ideas from sounding tired; hell, the vocal screams and fast paced riffing even make them sound a little fresh. All the musicians here know their punk, can play simple yet catchy riffs with the best of them, and the vocals are varied, frantic, and filled with just enough vitriol to give them the credibility they need. All you really have to know about these guys though is that they manage to make ska-styled guitar riffs sound fresh again, something bands have been trying and mainly failing to do at for about a decade now.

Songs like “Illusion”, “LT (Stop Tellin’ Me Lies), and “Look @ Whatcha Got” are definite highlights, featuring creepy spook-show influenced staccato reggae/ska riffs, guitar and bass lines that are far too catchy to fit so seamlessly into a punk song, and some damn nice lyrics and tone. The only song here that is actually a loser is “TFY 634”, which just doesn’t fit in the CD’s otherwise enjoyable direction and vision. Sure, it is nice to see the band show the diversity to completely switch sounds vocally and musically and it isn’t like the song is poorly written, but why on an energetic and original album the band suddenly decided to change their sound to a pop-punk/Fallout Boy style for one track is inexplicable. This track makes the anger of the album seem a little sappy and forced and doesn’t really fit with the feel of Uncensored at all: an unfortunate low which shows all the minor issues that occasionally pop up on other tracks all in one disappointing moment, therefore worsening them and making them appear more frequent than they are.

Still, these guys know what they are doing and add a fresh sound to punk and ska, using their clear love of the genres and passion for music to make themselves enter the scene with a debut that will leave most of their competitors green with envy. There is a little bit here that can be improved, but not enough to keep the album from shining extremely brightly. If the band keeps going in this direction they may just be the most exciting fresh face in, if not the next saviors of, the modern punk genre.


Wes Robertson -


Keepin 6
By Ty Trumbull

Keepin 6’s Uncensored is as strong a debut as any. The band play the tried and true punk/ska combination and execute it well, throwing in some heavier elements and sing-along choruses to mix things up a little. Singer Bryan Hotchkiss sings in a style strikingly similar to Billy Talent’s front-man and, surprisingly, it works. The group write vocal hooks that will be stuck in your head for days, most notably on “LT (Stop Tellin’ Me Lies),” which boasts a chorus that many more seasoned bands can’t even begin to pull off. Guitarist Jason Wilford does some pretty interesting things with the traditionally simple ska song structures, especially on “Look @ Whatcha Got,” while Matt Wilkinson (drums) and Dan Renwick (bass) push the songs forward with their tight, hard-hitting rhythms. For a relatively young band, Keepin 6 have a lot going for them and it should be interesting to see where they take it in the future. (Stereo Dynamite) - EXCLAIM MAGAZINE


This album can be summed up as follows: Best Local Album of 2007. Uncensored is a really, really, really, really, really polished album. I don't mean a overworked studio album, but an album that you can tell had a lot of work put into it.

The only thing that I could really criticize before about Keepin' 6 is that their albums have been way too short, and at times it was hard to hear what Bryan was singing. Their sound hasn't been bad on previous albums, but you can definitely see an improvement on Uncensored. The sound is so good, that even the vocal sing-a-long parts/harmonies are some of the best sounding I have heard on any album. Also, Bryan's vocals are crystal clear. The prime example of their improvement can been seen from End Zone. The difference is night and day compared to the version found on their debut EP, 6-Pack.

Last year there was a period where I hadn't seen Keepin' 6 in awhile, and after seeing them again, I didn't recognize about half of their set. Their sound had changed a bit, and I could tell they wanted to head in a slightly different direction. Uncensored cements that path they are heading down...even if it isn't as "ska" as they use to be.

Standout Tracks: Illusion, Scapegoat, End Zone, Forget It, Handle It, Look @ Whatcha Got, 1086

The real nice thing about this album is that there are versions to songs that you probably won't ever hear live, which is a nice bonus in my books. My three favourite songs (Forget It, Handle It, and End Zone) are ones that don't have your typical Keepin' 6 sound. It is about time that you are able to hear a recorded version of the songs they have been playing for almost a full year now. It has been a pleasure to watch the band get progressively better and better. I can't see how much better they could get after this release.

If you can't tell by now, I absolutely love Uncensored. Go buy this album (in stores June 12th); I guarantee it will get a lot of spins in your cd player.

(Posted 2007-06-02)



CD: Uncensored Artist: Keepin' 6
Label: Stereo Dynamite Recordings Rating: 4/5
Best Song: Handle It Author: Bobby Gorman

I've said it before and I'll say it again: sometimes the best CDs are the least expected ones. My first introduction to Keepin' 6 was when I had their CD in my hands, and even then I didn't know what I'd be getting into. While yes, the artwork did spark my interest from the start, it was only once I finally threw the CD in that I was really blown away.

Straight from the start, Uncensored jumps out at you. The opening drum roll pumps you up before they drop into the ska breakdown to pull you in and soon after the raspy vocals explode with intensity, an intensity that never wavers until the final song comes to an end twenty eight minutes later. The eleven songs are built around a ska punk foundation, with a crusty street punk sound layered alongside ska beats and reggae tones. It's like the Flatliners only more controlled and with more decipherable vocals; and it is in those vocals that Keepin' 6 really shines. They are harsh and worn, very nasally and delivered in a lightning fast spit of fury. With a serious similarity to Pezz-era Ben Kowalewicz, they are intense and energizing, able to cough out the lyrics instantly or drag them out in a more melodic manner without ever wavering. Other times they sound like Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners while TYF 634's beginning sounds as if they Deryck Whibley stepped in to kick it off creating a diverse sound while continually maintaining the same general tone.

Of course, a vocalist is nothing without a backing band, and Keepin' 6's trio of musicians never disappoint. Switching from IllScarlett ska tones to three chord punk rock ala Fat Wreck Chords, Uncensored is fun throughout and it's plainly evident that the band spent a lot of time working on the songs to get them where they are. Once you're finally able to get pass the initial shock of "my God, this is great" you start to get the itch to see them live - because while the CD is awesome it is also painfully obvious that it is their live show that would really blow your mind.

Really, the album can be summed it fairly simply: punk rock speed with ska beats and venomous vocals coming together for thirty minutes of polished ska-punk rioting. Fans of Pezz (the Billy Talent band not the Fueled By Ramen band) and The Flatliners will eat it up. After all, the worst thing about the record is that the track order is messed up and when it comes down to it, the track order really makes no difference in any album. - THEPUNKSITE.COM


Keepin’ 6 - Uncensored
Record Label: Stereo Dynamite Recordings
Release Date: June 12, 2007

The members of Keepin’ 6, upset about rumors that The Flatliners were planning to take their sound in a different direction from Destroy to Create, decided they would take it upon themselves to continue onwards with The Flatliners’ now former sound. Ok, so I made that up. Nonetheless their strong similarity to The Flatliners circa Destroy to Create is undeniable.

For those who have never listened to The Flatliners, they play a type of fast-paced ska influenced punk. Yeah, it’s a bit odd, but they make it work. Keepin’ 6 do a great job with this sound as well, keeping it fun and enjoyable throughout Uncensored. The blistering-fast vocals are present and easily the best part of the album; Bryan Hotchkiss’ voice is a bit snottier than The Flatliners’ vocalist and is the most distinguishing feature between the two bands. The typical socially-conscious lyrics do little to break the mold and are about as straightforward as they come. But really, the lyrics are not a focal point of this band. This album is for blasting in a car during a long drive on the highway, not deep intellectual stimulation.

That is not to say the flaws of the album should be ignored solely because it is meant to be “fun” or that a lack of depth is the only real problem with the album. Uncensored hurts due to a lack of variety. Though most of the songs are only a little over two minutes, by the end of the album even that seems a bit too long. And the few attempts to change things up fail miserably, mostly due to their placing on the album. “EndZone v.II” shows what would happen if the band were to abandon the ska influence apparent in the rest of the album. It isn’t a bad song per se, but lacks any of the charm that makes the band fun to listen to. This misstep would be forgivable if not immediately followed by the only truly bad song on the album, “TFY 634,” which features Hotchkiss rapping and seemingly trying to drop as many F-bombs as possible. Luckily the final two songs on the album show Keepin’ 6 returning to form and finishing off the album on a good note. Unfortunately I have a feeling these two songs will go generally overlooked, thanks to the two duds preceding them. I probably would have never listened to them if I weren’t reviewing the album.

The good thing about these flaws is they are all relatively easy to fix. The important thing is the band's core sound is interesting and enjoyable to listen to. They just need to work on branching out their sound a little bit more without changing that sound. This being their debut full-length, I don’t really expect them to have this completely down yet. Even though there have been some incredibly solid debuts recently, this doesn’t change the fact that most bands at this point are still searching for their sound. It will be interesting to see if they recognize these flaws and focus on ironing them out in future releases. So, for those tired of constantly listening to The Flatliners’ releases, Keepin’ 6 is at least worth a listen. Though I doubt it has much appeal for those not typically into this type of music, I’d find it hard to believe those that do to not at least see the potential held in Uncensored. - ABSOLUTEPUNK.NET










Anyone familiar with the Canadian rock scene can tell you that there hasn’t been a lot of noise coming from the small suburban Mississauga community of Applewood, Ontario. (Hell, most people have never even heard of Applewood.) But now that ska-punk band KEEPIN’ 6 are exploding out of Applewood and the Southern Ontario punk scene, that’s all about to change!

Formed in 2003 by 4 lifelong friends; drummer Matt “Phatty” Wilkinson, guitarist Jason Wilford, bassist Dan Renwick and vocalist Bryan Hotchkiss, KEEPIN’ 6 is a band who’s high energy, and hook-heavy songs blend the best of influences ranging from The Police and Rancid / Operation Ivy to the Foo Fighters. And truth be told, if there’s a band that can sonically bridge the gap between Billy Talent and Rancid, well that band is definitely KEEPIN’ 6.

Having spent the past few years playing hundreds of shows in rec centers, church basements and community halls with their friends in bands like illScarlett, The Flatliners, The Creepshow and The Johnstones (with whom the band released a 2005 indie split CD with; “The Johnstones VS. Keepin’6”), KEEPIN’ 6 have already amassed a huge local following that many “more established” artists would kill for. And that huge local following has been waiting a very long time for a full-length album from KEEPIN’ 6!

Produced by Steve Rizun (illScarlett, The Creepshow, Hostage Life) the band’s debut album UNCENSORED is a collection of non-stop, call-to-arms ska-punk anthems guaranteed to have fans screaming along and dancing ‘til they drop.

– Look @ Whatcha Got

From the one-two opening punches of “Illusion” and “Scapegoat” on through the reflective sentiments of “Look @ Whatcha Got” and the mellow(er) vibes of “EndZone v.II” and “1086”, the album’s powerful combination of modern rock hooks and punk energy never let up. And with underlying socio-political themes UNCENSORED sees KEEPIN’ 6 give their fans something to chew on beyond the usual “us VS them” punk rhetoric.

With fantastic grooves that will keep the circle pits skankin’, and song-after-song of infectious sing-a-long choruses, UNCENSORED is a modern punk album with the potential to reach mainstream audiences without sacrificing either integrity or intent.

The band will be on tour constantly promoting the album, and with a little luck on their side, 2007 just may be the year that KEEEPIN’ 6 finds legions of new fans world-wide. …Far beyond the winding suburban streets of Applewood, Ontario.

For more information, please contact:
Jeremy Shum | Stereo Dynamite Recordings
647.477.6384 | 174 Spadina Avenue, Ste.#514
Toronto, ON Canada M5T 2C2 |