We Are the Union / Stuck Lucky

We Are the Union / Stuck Lucky: live in Indianapolislive in Indianapolis (2008)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: superskabrosuperskabro
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In case you haven't noticed, the genre of ska-punk has slowly but surely slipped back into a seat of importance. If Streetlight Manifesto's Everything Goes Numb wasn't the triumphant battle cry of the genre, then maybe the explosive rise of bands like Bomb the Music Industry! is clue enough. Ska-pun.

In case you haven't noticed, the genre of ska-punk has slowly but surely slipped back into a seat of importance. If Streetlight Manifesto's Everything Goes Numb wasn't the triumphant battle cry of the genre, then maybe the explosive rise of bands like Bomb the Music Industry! is clue enough. Ska-punk is back and it sounds better than ever.

Last week, Indianapolis was graced with four of the up-and-coming stars of the ska revival-revival. The evening started out with Fort Worth, TX ska-core band Detonate. Detonate sounded similar to ska bands past, namely Voodoo Glow Skulls, but with an extra dose of hardcore added into the mix. The next band to play was New Orleans band Fatter Than Albert. Aside from their goofball ska band name, their sound was very fresh. They exuded a vibe similar to that of the Rx Bandits, but without sounding like them. The crowd had swelled a bit more and was extremely blown away by the band. Their set included tracks from their stellar album Erin's Runaway Imagination, as well as new songs from their upcoming Community Records release.

Next up was Stuck Lucky who, also on Community Records, delivered a killer set of energetic ska-core songs. The ska kids naturally dug their rowdy sound and loud horn section. Highlights from their record Hate the Day of Light included the delightfully sinister "In Purgatory" and the wicked "Fall of Rome." Unfortunately, my sister got a flat tire outside of the show and I had to help her during most of SL's set, but the few songs I caught were energetic to say the least.

The room filled with eager kids as headliners We Are the Union started setting up their gear following Stuck Lucky's set. The mob erupted into a whirlwind of skanking as the band ripped into their opening song. The entire show was comprised of tracks from their killer debut album Who We Are. With minimal stage banter, the band delivered a solid performance of tracks like "MTV Is Over If You Want It" and "We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat." The only glaring omission from their set was the highlight of Who We Are, the wonderful reggae-hardcore anthem "These Colors Flee the Scene." The band nearly made up for it, however, with a stunning, back-to-back rendition of "Your Allowance Exceeds My Rent" and "I'm Like John Cusack." The throng of kids blissfully sang along with the infectious outro of "John Cusack," which consists simply of "Every time I think about you / I think about how I have nothing." The band really knew what they were doing on stage. I sense big things for WATU in the near future.

To be honest, if you seriously don't enjoy ska-punk, then you probably won't like Detonate, Fatter Than Albert or Stuck Lucky, although you might appreciate their live energy. We Are the Union, on the other hand, should appeal to even ska-hating freaks, not to mention fans of hardcore and pop-punk. Their debut album is downloadable for free at Purevolume.com and it is a great listen. Also, for fans of ska, the entire Community Records roster is worth checking out. But at the end of the day, no record can stand up to a live set, so go see these guys live if you get the chance.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
icapped2pac (July 22, 2008)

We Are The Union has single-handedly revived my interest in ska-punk. That last paragraph is dead on, because I can't stand shit like MU330 or Skankin Pickle, etc. and I love these guys. I guess I was never THAT into it, but I did like LTJ for a while, Reel Big Fish were pretty good in the late 90's/early '00s, and Slapstick both directly and indirectly (via the Andriano lineage of bands thereafter) changed my music tastes forever. WATU make me feel like I did the first time I heard Slapstick back in high school - in my friend's Taurus in the parking lot of Kmart ... only the recording quality is 100x better.

And like mpc below, these guys are from mere minutes away and I haven't managed to get to a show yet either. I only first heard of them when the review for the full length was posted on this site, though, which I guess is also lame of me. The next weekend gig they play here, I'm there. mpc, we should roll together. Hit me up on slsk.

TheLando (July 21, 2008)

All great bands. Detonate blew me away when they played here. I booked this tour minus WATU at an american legion hall. FTA was great, nice guys too. And Stuck Lucky is always an amazing show.

Check out the other bands on the show:
How To Steat and Cheal
Suburban Epidemic.

Both are local bands that helped with the show.

shark-e (July 19, 2008)

I do love me some Detonate.
Although it is this commenters view that Duck should invest more of his time into PTX.

skapunk810 (July 19, 2008)

my band opened for WATU a couple months back. they are awesome guys and have a killer live show.

mpc (July 18, 2008)

We Are the Union are pretty damn sweet... and my lazy old ass still hasn't caught them live, even though they're from my area. I suck.

badbrain (July 18, 2008)

We Are The Union are great, it's a shame they're not signed yet. I missed them when they came to Baltimore because I hit a deer 2 days before the show so I didn't have a car. That's a solid album though

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