Picture this: It’s a sunny day. You’re driving in your car with the windows down and the gloom of winter behind you. Obviously, you need some tunes to match the mood of summer. Here are five bands to give you that happy-go-lucky feeling and let you know that “every little thing gonna be alright.”
Formed in Aberdeen, Maryland, this band proves you don’t have to be from California to achieve a punk-pop surf sound. The band’s most famous album, "Pineapple Grenade," reached the number one spot on iTunes’ reggae charts upon its release, with songs produced by Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome. With an easy, laid-back vibe to each of their songs, they’re guaranteed to put you in a good mood. After all, there’s nothing more perfect than turning up “Beautiful Day” on a beautiful day.
Quick Listens: “Walk Away,” “Cali Girl (Lullaby),” “The Struggle”
Created by Tim Armstrong of Rancid, Tim Timebomb offers catchy punk tunes with a country twang. So, if you and your friends often butt heads on music genres, this band has the potential to attract rock and country listeners. The band often performs their own modern takes on songs by classic rock 'n' roll bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Faces. While some songs don’t include many lyrics, which can get annoying in other cases, you’re sure to be singing along and wishing they lasted longer than two or so minutes.
Quick Listens: “She’s Drunk All the Time,” “Ooh La La,” “Lodi”
Moving away from punk, The Slackers specialize in a ska sound with unique rhythms that you perhaps won’t take to upon first listen. However, once you do catch on, you’ll find yourself jamming out every time to their jazzy reggae beats. The band formed in New York City, and you can definitely hear the distinct influence of the Big Apple in their songs, which further sets them apart from other reggae and ska bands.
Quick Listens: “Married Girl,” “Have the Time,” “Don’t You Want a Man”
With band members referring to themselves as a “violin-laced rock band,” ZOX puts its own spin on the alternative genre with some songs leaning more toward rock and others with a reggae feel. While the band does not have as many stand-out tracks, it provides easy listening for a relaxing road trip, light study session or pool day.
Quick Listens: “A Little More Time,” “Ghostown,” “Ode to the Mountain Pirates”
Bummed out after making a D on your chemistry exam? Well look no further than The Hippos. With a classically ska sound similar to that of Reel Big Fish, The Hippos combine upbeat brass instruments with punk undertones and light-hearted, often comedic lyrics. They’re a combination of your teenage years as you rocked out to Blink-182, your days playing the trumpet in your junior high band and the blissful joy felt as a child without the worries of exams, relationships or future plans.
Quick Listens: “Far Behind,” “Lost It,” “Thinking”