I saw Denver ska band Younger Than Neil open for Mustard Plug and the Bouncing Souls. They put on a killer set. Then my friend Jason put one of their songs on a road trip mix, and from there I downloaded their EP. The morning I listened to it, I couldn’t stop. I loved it so much, I wrote the following on Facebook:
There’s very little that’s more exciting than finding a new band that thrills, surprises and moves you. I’ve spent my entire morning listening to Younger Than Neil, and holy shit. It’s hyper-caffeinated ska music that’s lyrically PACKED. I’ll ignore “Happiest Nihilist” for a moment, which is one of the greatest fucking song titles I’ve ever heard (and an equally great song), and focus on “In Our Genes” which is as thorough an examination and complete demolition of toxic masculinity as I’ve maybe ever heard. The bouncy rhythm, frenetic pace, unpredictable cadence and just plain fun singalong elements belie a vibrant beating heart, disarming emotional honesty, and shockingly incisive commentary on what it means to be a man in terms of cultural expectation, heredity, and having agency to undermine those elements. And while I recognize I’m likely completely up my own ass analyzing this, the best thing about this music is it melts your face. This music makes me want to write a fucking academic paper and slam into people in the pit. God, what a combo. What a morning. What a time to be alive!
Lead singer Ben responded with the following:
I wanted to give an earnest response to this because of how much your post meant to me so I’m sorry that it took this long to get back to you. At the risk of horn-tooting I put a lot into my lyrics and for someone to fucking nail their interpretation means that what I’m trying to say doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Thank you so much for the most sincere validation I’ve ever felt. I hope to meet you and express in person how thankful I am for your kind words and that you enjoyed our music. Music has been a way of expressing myself for a while and I’m so happy and proud to be part of a band that gets what I’m saying and helps put that into motion. We’ve worked hard to portray that so I’m stoked it resonated with you.
So how could I not sit down with them and feature them on my show? We cover a ton of stuff on the show including why “Hey Ya” by Outkast is the greatest ska song ever written (despite not even being in the genre). It’s a fun, loose chat with four awesome dudes, so give it a listen, and then go support local music by seeing my new favorite Denver band.