The Pandemics
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The Pandemics


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Pandemics"

Remember everything I said about Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine, about being the lovechild of Streetlight Manifesto and Against Me? Well I just found Eli Whitney’s not-long-but-still-lost brother, The Pandemics, another ska band from Long Island, New York.

I found that this group in particular was a little more conscious of their musicianship and was more horn-focused than Eli Whitney & The Sound Machine. Even they’re instrumental tracks are as infectious as the songs that feature vocals. Chris Malone’s vocals also sound similar to Tomas Kalnoky’s at points, which makes this band a very contender for a possible opening slot with Streetlight if they were ever to tour with an unsigned group.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, both The Pandemics AND Eli Whitney & the Sound Machine are in the process of working out a Co-Headlining tour!!! If everything works out and the tour actually happens, you had better make your way over there to see that show, because it’ll a party like no other. Both bands have debut EP’s out right now for you to check out, so please do so or else be forever known as a square. I’ll keep you posted on the status of the tour, until then, keep on ska-ing.

Luke Helker - Luke Heller // Hear Me Out - Blog

"Duff Review: The Pandemics and Los Skarroneros at Electric Avenue (at Characters NYC) on 11/10/12"

Despite having to compete with two (!) other ska/reggae shows that night (Dub is a Weapon, and The Forthrights/Frightnrs gig--both in Brooklyn), a very enthusiastic crowd of about 60-70 turned out for Electric Avenue's debut ska-punk night with The Pandemics and Los Skarroneros. Both bands were terrific; everyone had blast; and the vibe was really, really, good!

While I'm not overly familiar with either band's material (I've never seen The Pandemics before and have only caught Los Skarroneros at a show once before at The Lake), they both served up extremely high energy performances that had the audience up on their feet and dancing for both sets (dorky EA fact: Los Skarroneros' set actually inspired our first Electric Avenue mosh pit to form).

I usually have loads of video for Duff Guide to Ska readers to view, but just before I left to set up my DJ equipment at Characters NYC, I discovered that my Flip video camera was busted (the little metal knob that provides a connection to and holds the battery in place was gone--it must have come off when I dropped the Flip a few weeks ago...anyone out there good at soldering?). However, I did tape one song from each band on my phone to give you a taste of the bands and the night.

The Pandemics' excellent set--which ranged from vintage ska to ska-jazz to modern ska to ska-punk--was comprised mostly of songs from their great new-ish album, Brain on Tap (which can be sampled/bought here on Bandcamp). I particularly dug their trad and modern ska songs, including "Skaramanga," "One Night Stand," "Movin'," and "Separate Parts" (the last two you'd swear were Toasters songs)--and they also threw in two very choice covers: Byron Lee's/Keith Lyn's/Ken Lazarus' "Jamaica Ska" and John Lennon's/Paul McCartney's "I Saw Her Standing There."

Since my Spanish is poor to non-existent, I can't tell you much about Los Skaronneros were singing about--but their slightly ragged ska-punk songs were passionate and (from what I was told) political, and really pumped everyone up. The track I recorded below, "Cananea 1906," is about a strike at the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, where the Mexican miners demanded equal pay/treatment with their American counterparts. The U.S.-owned company sent American vigilantes to confront the Mexican workers and ended up shooting and killing dozens of miners--which outraged people across Mexico and helped spark the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

After Los Skarroneros' set, most people hung around for a few more hours--drinking and talking while I spun ska and reggae vinyl and CDs. Twice, Chris Malone of The Pandemics approached me to confirm the names of the tracks I was playing: "Swinging Like Tiger Woods" by The Porkers and "Kicking Pigeons" by Spunge. Someone else then asked about the Planet Smashers' "All Men Fear Women"--though the track that seemed to move the crowd the most was Prince Fatty's incredible new production of John Holt's "Ali Baba," featuring Winston Francis and Dennis Alcapone.

We plan to have both bands back sometime in 2013, so you'll have a chance to check them out/see them again--something you definitely should make a point to do. - Steve Schafer // The Duff Guide to Ska - Blog

"Record Review: The Pandemics - Brain On Tap"

It’s been a while since Ska was on the scene in music, but The Pandemics prove that not all is lost. A full-fledged eight-piece band, they bring back the 1990's sound with a New York edge. As a blend of jaunty guitar and piano work, with real dedication to the horns and East coast attitude in their lyrics, I find myself flowing along to their music as early as the first few chords.

From New Rochelle, NY, The Pandemics are a band with a serious mastery of melody. And their album, Brain on Tap, showcases a nice variety of themes. The title track has a great punk feel, while the track “Chelsea” is more easy-flowing. Then you get hit with “One Night Stand,” a true Blues tune with a Rock edge. Afterwards, “Rhumba de los Muertos” and “Separate Parts” show that you can always throw in some Spanish chords for good effect. “Separate Parts,” along with “Skaramanga,” are pure instrumental works, with many instruments dueling for prominence without overpowering each other.

That is probably the best way to explain The Pandemics. Each instrument is working together to make something greater than its parts, yet at the same time, no individual voice is being lost in the noise. The drums and guitar set the tempo, but it’s the horn section that really sets the tone. Everything is balanced against the vocals, so the message never gets lost, but it is easy to hear what each musician is trying to say. This is most easily expressed in the final track, “He Man Woman Hater’s Club,” where every instrument is crying out with the lyrics.

My personal favorite track is “Sleepy Sunday (New York City),” with funny, slightly ironic lyrics, complimented by a nice drum and piano tempo, sweet saxophone tones drifting in and out of the trumpets. I felt like I was walking through early-morning Times Square, a little too bleary-eyed and not yet sober enough.

If you’re looking for a complex sound and something to groove to (or, are missing music from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones or The Toasters), then check out The Pandemics. - Crash Chords blog

"Running Playlist To End 2012: The Year's Best Music"

#10 = Movin' by The Pandemics, directly following Gangnam Style by Psy in the slide show :)

You know you've reached a certain level of, oh, let's call it maturity when "party music" becomes "gym music." We can't spend our entire lives dancing until 5 am to Calvin Harris remixes, but we'd all be well advised to plug in some ear buds and hit the pavement -- or the treadmill -- in the not-quite-wee hours of the morning. And since it's the time of year when adults generally return to the gym after carousing their faces off throughout the holiday season, HuffPost Entertainment and HuffPost Healthy Living have teamed up to produce the ultimate Best Running Songs of 2012 playlist to keep you going and going ... and going. (Seriously, you could run a half marathon to this thing.)

To create the list, we spammed emailed the entire, globe-spanning staff of The Huffington Post with a request for submissions. To qualify, a song had to have come out in 2012 (a few were released as singles in 2011 but on albums this year) and possess a beat you can run to (duh). You'll find most of the usual suspects -- nobody suggested "Gangnam Style," presumably because it seemed too obvious, so we just stuck it in -- but also plenty of hidden gems.

Research shows that you work out longer and have more fun doing it when you listen to music, so we hope that you'll get lots of mileage out of this playlist, which you can download to your mobile device if you have a paid Spotify account. We also hope you'll share your favorite workout tunes from the past year in the comments section.

And since we're not that old, we feel compelled to mention that this would make a highly danceable New Year's Eve party playlist, in case you're planning to give yourself one last long night to repent for in 2013. - Michael Hogan // Huffington Post

"2012: The Year in Ska - Amanda Hornick (A Perfect Mess Podcast and Blog)"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012: The Year in Ska - Amanda Hornick (A Perfect Mess Podcast and Blog)

Editor's Note: As the end of the calendar year sneaks up on me--as it always does, since the fall is always so damn busy!--I always scramble around to put together my "best of" lists of the ska singles, albums, reissues, books, etc. that I really enjoyed over the past year and want to highlight for all the ska fans out there. But I also thought it might be interesting to feature some other opinions, so I approached a diverse group of ska musicians, bloggers, DJs, and label heads to find out what their favorite ska things were in 2012. And thus the "2012: The Year in Ska" series was born! Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to participate--I really appreciate it!

Amanda Hornick is the smarts behind the killer weekly radio podcast A Perfect Mess (you can listen to a new podcast here every Sunday on Chestnut Radio; make sure to check out her past playlists, she's got a great mix going). In addition, Amanda writes a most excellent companion blog to her podcast that is always worth a read--it features terrific interviews and lively, well-written, and insightful reviews. Her thoughts on the past year in ska are below...

2012: The Year in Ska - Amanda Hornick/A Perfect Mess Radio Podcast and Blog

Top 5 Favorite Ska Releases

Ooh! That's a toughie! Lots of good ones! My top five, in no particular order, would be:

The Pinstripes - I: I am addicted to these's ska and soul in a delicious package...I am a sucker for great vocals, and they have it and more.

Obi Fernandez - Confessions, Waves and the Garden State: Oh my fucking god...speaking of vocals...this man's voice is like cherry cheesecake. I so love it. "Color of your Voice" is perfect. Who is that about? Can I pretend it's about me?

The Bandulus - The Times We Had: That one is brandy new and JUST came out last week and is soooooooo good!

The Shifters - In It!: Amazing straight through...great music, gorgeous, catchy, vocals.

The Pandemics - Brain on Tap: One of the most FUN albums I have gotten this it!

Top 5 Favorite Live Ska Shows

EASILY The Slackers booze cruise, followed closely by The Pietasters booze cruise. Ska + beer + boat + friends = One hell of a good time. Plus, during The Slackers cruise, there was a thunderstorm outside, and the boat was ROCKING...literally. I was standing on the side holding onto one of the tables that was bolted to the floor early on, and when the boat would tip, the whole dance floor full of people would sliiiiiiiiiide across...laughing and grabbing onto one another. Everyone was helping one another up, and grabbing one another for stability, and it was just smiles all around. It was one of my best nights of the year.

Top 5 Favorite Ska Merch

I always try to buy something from the bands I go to see. Even if I already have everything. I buy buttons and stickers everywhere. I buy two pins...put one on my bag, and one on my son's. My car is covered with stickers. I stick out like a sore thumb in traffic. I get excited when I walk to a merch table if I see there are stickers.

Top 5 Ska Regrets

I was pretty good about getting my fanny to the shows I wanted to be at this year. This is probably why I am broke...HA! I would have liked to have seen Skalapalooza in DC. Or Philly. Or both.

Top 5 Ska Wishes for 2013

We begin filming our documentary next month, the first episode of which will be completed for January. My biggest ska wish is that it makes the bands we profile proud, happy, and well represented. We are doing it for them, to show this amazing music to whoever we can. Beyond that, more shows, more records, more dancing, more writing, and podcasts, and friends, and beer, and good times!
- Amanda Hornick & Steve Schaffer // The Duff Guide To Ska Blog

"Album Review: The Pandemics - "Brain On Tap""

New York ska band The Pandemic’s first release “Brain On Tap” is like a stroll through some 60-odd years of ska music, containing well-approached songs for each period (and then some).

Right from track 1, there’s no secret about it: the brass section tends to play a leading role in most every song, and for good reason. They are an extremely tight, well-polished and articulate group of horn players. This is anything but a backing section. These guys pave the way in this album. It’s astonishing the amount of complexity an additional member or two can bring to a band’s sound, and The Pandemics feature a fully-stocked horn section, including two trumpets, a trombone, an alto/tenor sax, and a baritone sax. That’s a lot of brass, but it isn’t squandered.

My taste for the rough n’ gruff vocals (supplied by trombonist Chris Malone) seems to vary track-by-track. A matter of taste, perhaps, but overall I preferred bassist Greg Steiner’s leading tracks such as “Movin’ ” and “Rhumba De Los Muertos.” He’s got a swing-friendly voice that’s very reminiscent of Robert “Bucket” Hingley’s (The Toasters).

The swing influence in the music is strong and puts an early 3rd-wave spin on the album; a sound much more influenced by jazz and the preceding 2-tone than punk. To name just one, “One Night Stand” is a great example of this (this is also one of tracks I think Malone’s vocals work smoothly with the music). There is some fantastic jazz soloing in this one; I’m a huge sucker for growl-y muted trumpet.

Moving through the album, the dynamic of style continues to change, with the instrumental “Skaramanga” showcasing a very latin/1st wave ska sound that the band pulls off with class. Fans of Mustard Plug, MU330, The Toasters, and perhaps Cherry Poppin’ Daddies will enjoy this swing-infused ska album. My favorite tracks include “Movin,’ ” mainly for the bitchin’ horn solos. A solid 7.5/10 stars for The Pandemic’s latest release. - Connor Maoil //

"The Pandemics - Brain On Tap"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The Pandemics - Brain on Tap
New York City is a veritable cornucopia of music and culture. The music, the art, the all radiates with an aura of gritty determination that won't wash off. It's unique energy permeates everything that bleeds from between it's concrete structures and dark clubs and bars. I am in love with New York City. I always will be. It's been a mecca of ska and punk music over the last bunch of decades, and my favorite place to escape New Jersey and run to for a recharge of my soul.

Bands in New York have an energy that is almost tangible, and nearly impossible to describe. It varies band to band, scene to scene...but it's constant. Every time I get into a new one, I can detect it almost immediately. It's what gets me dancing it sitting at my desk, driving in my car, doing my dishes, putting my radio show and podcast together, everything where the music is filling my ears. Thank fucking goodness for New York City.

This is everything that fills my soul, my ears, my brain when I listen to The Pandemics.

It's an eight piece band of talented individual musicians creating high energy ska with flavors of jazz and punk. Vocals are raspy with dirty, gritty, delicious soul and a side of fun. Brass is perfectly layered and accented throughout the album. Bass lines are the groove threaded throughout. Their most recent album, Brain On Tap, is a great mix of styles that highlight seemingly every aspect of what puts this band together. There are highlights of percussion, brass, vocals, bass, guitar, and excellent meshings of each intricate puzzle piece. I dig it, and I dig it hard.

I find that I get OBSESSED with good music when I find it. Listening to it over and over and over again until its memorized and very much ingrained in ever corner of my mind. It's something I always do before I write about a band as well. I want to know it inside and out, piece by piece, before I will go slapping my opinions all over it. I have had this CD in my car, I have had it up on Spotify at work, and with every listen, I like it a little more. I also hear something I missed in the last listen.

The thing I like most about this album is that it's fun. I know that sounds simple and trite for someone who is supposed to be disecting an album and a band for a review with big words and precise pointers, but seriously...its just fucking FUN! From track to track, it's completely dancable... and yes that is a word. You can lay yourself on almost any song and start shaking your hips and bouncing your head. Rhumba De Los Muertos...I can't wait to hear that song live. It's fun, but it's sexy as hell too the way the bass and guitar lead into those sultry horns. It's got a groove that bounces around a bit, and the vocals are sung deep. Then it picks up to take you out. I love it!

Sleepy Sunday (New York City) is a slower groove, but probably my favorite song on the album to sing a long with. Whole lot of horns, a little keys in the background, great bass, great vocals. Skip back to Hey You! and put those dancing pants back on. What great energy. Scream along, rock out. It shows how versatile the Pandemics are as a band. No one trick pony...they can bridge difference styles and different flavors with precision. I was impressed.

The title track Brain On Tap is great too...brings you in with guitar and drops you right into the horns. See if you can get through this song without dancing. I can't. I have it on in my headphones right now, and my tush is all over the place. The vocals are great, the beat is infectious, and I would imagine this is something of a crowd favorite at live shows with how singable it is. I know I know...I'm a bad ska girl. I have not been able to catch the Pandemics live yet. It's on my calendar as we speak. They have a show coming up at Characters NYC on November 10th. You can get information about the show HERE. You should go. I am. You can buy me a cocktail.

I was able to hang out with trombone player and vocalist for the Pandemics, Chris Malone, at the New York date of the recent round of Skalapalooza shows. Chris is a great guy to hang at a show with and swap stories with. I lost him somewhere during Sammy Kay's set, and found him again while I was harassing Agent Jay. He helped me ring in my 34th birthday that night, and didn't call me old at all. He is alright in my book.

That night, he handed me the Brain on Tap cd, and I can honestly say it has not left my car since. It's in the cd player, getting me through North Jersey rush hour traffic and gas lines and making people look at me funny at stop lights because I am dancing and singing along where I sit. I can't wait to check these guys out live this weekend...
- Amanda Hornick // A Perfect Mess Podcast/Blog

"Ska Saturday: The Pandemics"

The latest album from The Pandemics begins with what sounds like a news clip in which someone discusses what a pandemic is. It is pretty catchy right from the word go, but the first song that really reached out and grabbed me was “Movin’.” And what a fitting title for this song. You can’t single out any one instrument that gets you moving on this one because the trombone, organ, guitar, and rhythm section will all get you moving. Holy cow! If you don’t move some part of your body to this song, I think you’re clinically dead. And that’s not the only song like that either. “Skaramanga” is also a song that will get you moving.

“Hey You!” is a song that will get you moving in a different way. This is an uptempo and aggressive song that just might kickstart your instincts to fight someone. Not that it’s an angry song, but somehow it plays on that part of your brain that makes you a little aggro toward someone who deserves it.

This may sound weird, but when I listen to The Pandemics, I can’t help but think that this is what would happen if The Mahones started playing ska. The vocals are the same kind of raspy punk vocals you’ll hear when you listen to any album buy The Mahones. If you are a fan of punk ska at all, The Pandemics is a band that will fit nicely into your collection. - Incognito Music Magazine


The Patient Zero EP - 9/2011 - 5 Track EP, live track rotated every 100 sold

Altercation Records - Blood, Sweat & Punk compilation - 2012 - Track: As Seen Through Younger Eyes

Brain On Tap LP - 7/2012 - 14 track LP

Asbestos Records - Skalapalooza Digital Compilation - 10/2012 - Track: Brain On Tap

CDs for Sandy: Volume 2 - 12/2012 - Track: Sleepy Sunday (New York City)



Debuting in December of 2010, The Pandemics set out to leave an indelible mark on New York City and Long Island's Ska scenes. Comprised of ex members of Spider Nick and the Maddogs/The Haberdashers, The Ladrones and more. In just over two short years, The Pandemics have played more than 60 shows, released two records, The Patient Zero EP (9/2/11) and the Brain On Tap LP (7/27/12), launched their first mid west tour and have played all over the north eastern US! Having had the honor of sharing the stage with some of their favorite bands, such as: The Toasters, Hub City Stompers (now Inspecter 7), King Django, The Slackers, Mustard Plug, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Fishbone, Flatfoot 56 and many many more!, this party shows know signs of stopping! So if you hear about The Pandemics coming to your town, be sure to head on down to the show and bring your dancing shoes!