Review: The Waffle Stompers – Therapy Songs – 2017

2017 has proven to be a great year for bands to release some new music: Goldfinger, Rancid, Blink 182, Save Ferris…and now The Waffle Stompers. 

I may be a bit biased as I’ve known the guys in the band for years. We’ve shared a handful of stages and even go back to the “Jersey Shows” days playing at Marlboro Rec Center. They’re always up for a good time and they just exude energy at every turn.

I was given early access to their newest album “Therapy Songs,” which comes out later this month. Overall, this album is one of my favorites of the year. No two songs sound anything alike, yet they all seem to fit together.

Starting the album off with a sweet guitar riff with some catchy horns quickly catching up, this release is just straight energy. The vocal harmonies alone are better than most internationally touring bands could provide. Catchy hooks, great lyrics and enough variety for people who aren’t ska fans to find something they like.

My personal favorite track is “Upside of Homicide” as it feels the most unique. The intro reminds me something out of a Tim Burton movie, quickly becoming something I could see the Mad Caddies being a part of. Honestly, it reminds me of another local NJ band Will Wood and the Tapeworms in that the music is almost chaotic. This is a song that will make it’s way into my daily rotation for sure.

Some other highlights – the acoustic guitar-laden “Will You Be There” has an indie feel that really highlights the dynamics and harmonies of the band. The harmonized chorus reminds me of an a capella group in that you can hear the distinct voices adding to the overall boom of the sound. Another killer track is “Two Years and a Tale” that begins sounding like a choir, featuring a capella vocals until a backbeat kicks in. This is one of those songs that really let you see the talent behind the guys in The Waffle Stompers. Adding in a woman’s voice for harmonies mid-song just further builds the dynamics of the group. “The Grass Isn’t Getting Any Greener” is the song on the album that really brings back memories of listening to their old material and sounds the most ‘familiar’ to me.

Finally ending the album is something that you should witness live. The Waffle Stompers’ cover of “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner is up there with some of the best covers of the genre: Take On Me, Brown Eyed Girl, Come On, Eileen…and any of the Disney covers by Suburban Legends.

Pick up your copy on August 18th and make sure to catch their CD Release Show on Saturday, August 19th at the Stanhope House in NJ!

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