Album Review: Call Me Malcolm - Me, Myself and Something Else
CALL ME MALCOLM
Me, Myself and Something Else
Growing up in Chicago in the 1990’s exposed me to DJ Chuck Wren and his Jump Up Records label. They’re variety of ska ranged from the ambitious acts like Hot Stove Jimmy and Telegraph, to the more modern tilted traditional stylings of The Parka Kings and Deals Gone Bad. Call Me Malcolm takes those different styles that I grew up on and smashes them together to give us a perfect blend of third wave inspired ska on their new album Me, Myself and Something Else – the follow-up to their acclaimed 2018 album I Was Broken When You Got Here. Just as on their previous album, a spoken word – “Good Morning” – acts as the introduction, before throwing you in with the 1-2 punch of the previously released singles “Wake Up, The Monster Said” and “What You Burn,” both which are laced with guitars that produce catchy riffs, before melding them around the incredible horn-based melodies and danceable rhythms. Though there are certain songs that flash a harder edge, “I Bet They’re Asleep In New York” and “Also Spiders,” Call Me Malcolm stays mostly in the lane that takes on the feel of the late 1990’s ska-punk era by applying to the rule of thumb, “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They retain all the familiar signatures we’ve come to know from them: big intros and choruses that lean into their punk influenced side, while using the verses to deliver the up-tempo, danceable blasts of rhythm. There are some very slight variances in their sound from time to time, such as when they dig more into a Moon Ska type of feel on “I Met All The Beasts In Your Thoughts,” or when they showcase their recording studio know-how by giving the intro to “Last One Standing Loses” a raw, demo-like quality. As ska begins resurging back to the mainstream, this album showcases how ready Call Me Malcolm stands to lead the charge by bringing their brand of music to today’s generation by leaning on the past to pull influence from those who’ve laid the path before them; Less Than Jake, Catch 22, Link 80, Authority Zero, and Voodoo Glow Skulls.