The Scofflaws

Record of Convictions

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The Scofflaws work in a fairly traditional ska style, with lots of cheesy organ and a tight horn section. They're pros; they write great arrangements and play them expertly. The problem is that they can't seem to write songs that are any fun to listen to, and if they could it's not clear that you'd want to listen to Buford O'Sullivan sing them. He's a great trombone player, but his voice is as hard and flat as a frying pan. On top of that, the band's musical maturity isn't matched by anything in their lyrics -- "I want to get a beer/But I can't decide." Please. This disc isn't a loss, by any means; "In the Basement" and "Any Way the Wind Blows" work well, and the instrumentals (in particular the band's adaptation of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly") are loads of fun. They also cover both Frank Zappa and Bela Bartok, which counts in their favor. But it's just not quite enough.

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