The Ernies

Dropping Science

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The Ernies try so hard to defy classification that they wrote a song about it. As they sing in "Jive," "We're not ska-core, reggae, jazz, or funk, we're not hip-hop or rock or pop, you know we won't stop groovin, it's like a thing called Jive, you mix it up and keep the people satisfied no need to classify or nullify...We call it Jive!" And they do mix crime-lounge saxophone with metal guitars that lead into ska beats on the very next song, "Put You in the Back," as if to prove that they're not liars. Most of the songs still orbit somewhere around ska, but there are a lot of musical yo-yos tossed out to other areas, even if they eventually do all wind back. Dropping Science shows a version of the Ernies with more guts than skill -- even though they dabble in a lot of areas, their songs sometimes sound formulaic, as if they were trying to build different houses but only had the same four wooden blocks. They weave a whole lot of energy and passion into their music, however, so they earn a gold star just for trying to do something different.

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