Album Cover
The OC Supertones
Loud and Clear
October 10, 2000


While shoving It's A Ska x4 World back into the deep recesses of the cd shelf, I discovered this old CD, another one of the collection of music my parents got for me in the past 4 years. It falls into the general region of the old BOB, but many times better.

Loud and Clear is near impossible to classify. It is part alt-rock, part rap, part ska, part ambiance. So, this ska-rock-rap madness somehow manages not to sound completly stupid. Well, some songs are lacking, but it did not leave the bad taste in my mouth that similar albums have done.

I once said "I'm all for songs with underlying themes, as long as you require some level of thought to reduce the analogies to their base form." This is the kind of thing I'm refering to. Pandora's Box and 20/20 are the kind of songs with a message I can at least tolerate, whatever they have to say. While not all the songs with lyrics approach such levels of rapping maddness, these two are among my favorite ska-rock-rap songs ever.

Trying to catagorize these guys into any other band I know of is impossible. I think they got together at the "Christian ska and socalist rap convention" that BOB and The Coup attend. Fans of BOB and The Coup got together, improved a bunch, changed their names, got surgery done to them, and then made a new band, all before any other bands they were in released CDs. It makes sense, you see.

Anyhow, let us take this track by track. "Escape from Reason" does a good job of escaping. It is more towards the ska-rap corners of the triangle, but it isn't too bad. What it comes to is terrible. They got some other guy to come rap with them, and it really doesn't work out. "Jury Duty" is a less rap, more rock song, with Mr. The-Lead-Singer describing a bad day he had. It is probably the best of the first 5 tracks. "Return of the Revolution" is really long. It's 4 and a half minutes, and that is after them editing out half the song. Again, not bad. Clearly and Loudly the album meanders to "Pandora's Box". I used this song in English class a couple years ago, for actual classwork, though I didn't rap it. It's the best thing on the album, nice and short, easy on the ska, good vocals, not of the rap vareity some of the time! It's abount the old Greek/Roman myth of the Box, given to Pandora, containg a lot of nasties. "Foward to the Future" is completly different from Pandora's Box, yet it also nearly the best song. Pick one of the two, you really will like one substanitally more than the other. "20/20" is just rememberances about the past, wasted time, death, etc. The CD winds up with a few tracks that really are too slow for their own good.

Overall, these OC Supertones try so many different styles of rock-rap-ska it's mind boggling. If you listen to any one track, and have a strong opinion on it, try another before judging it as a whole.

Nick Petschl

Track List

  1. Escape from Reason
  2. What it Comes To
  3. Jury Duty
  4. Lift Me Up
  5. Return of the Revolution
  6. Wilderness
  7. Father's World
  8. Pandora's Box
  9. Forward to the Future
  10. Another Show
  11. 20/20
  12. Who Could it Be
  13. Spend It With You