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99 Songs of Revolution

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Album Review

The first in a series of cover song compilations by genre-specific Victory artists, for 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume One, Streetlight Manifesto take on the likes of Paul Simon, Dead Milkmen, Bad Religion, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Simon & Garfunkel, and dresses them up in uptempo ska-revivalist brass. It's hardly an innovative concept, but, it does specifically what it sets out to do, by paying a sincere homage to the originals and, more importantly, ramping them up to be really fun. In their newly skankable adaptations, the song choices are sure to please their target audience of Warped Tour attendees. A crowd of skaters will surely appreciate a cover of NOFX’s "Linoleum," even when it’s performed as a mellow, acoustic reggae number, and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" is even more riotous at double the speed (as proven by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes' similar rendition), but Streetlight Manifesto are at their most thrilling when they take a big step outside the punk-pop box. In the disc’s most ambitious moments, the horn section takes on the blippy synth line of Postal Service’s "Such Great Heights," and Radiohead’s "Just" gets the royal treatment with mean, marching band blasts as Tomas Kalnoky belts Thom Yorke's instantly recognizable “you do it to yourself” refrain. These payoffs keep things entertaining, and the spunky summertime vibe ensures a good time for all at a BBQ or beach bash.


Formed: 2002 in New Brunswick, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The New Jersey ska-punk outfit Streetlight Manifesto grew out of two similar late-'90s groups from the region, One Cool Guy and Catch-22. Delivering a brassy, upbeat brand of third wave ska -- complete with punk-styled melodies courtesy of vocalist Tomas Kalnoky -- the band made its debut in 2003 with Everything Goes Numb. Two years of touring followed as Streetlight Manifesto played countless shows alongside Whole Wheat Bread, Mu330, Bedouin Soundclash, and Gym Class Heroes. However, personnel changes...
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99 Songs of Revolution, Streetlight Manifesto
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