Review:: Halo | Ballyhoo!


Ballyhoo! epitomize summertime. I mean, they just do. It’s almost unfair how easily this band encapsulates the season.

On their first release following their 5th studio album, Pineapple Grenade, the group enlisted John Feldmann’s proficiency for the forthcoming EP. While it’s only three songs, one of which being a cover, it still does what a Ballyhoo! release should do – it provides music to tap a foot to and sway along with.

“Halo (Beautiful Day)” kickstarts the short EP in playful fashion, calling for a day spent out in the sun. When “No Good” follows, the group’s trademark vibe continues. While neither of the songs seem to make a drastic departure from what we’ve grown to expect from the group, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s a 3-song EP, I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that I didn’t anticipate any enormous stylistic changes.

The cover of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” closes out the short record with high energy and does great justice to a Top Ten song. Howi Spangler’s vocals are a good fit to the vibe that Mars’ lyrics provide, while Nick Lucera’s bassline chugs along energetically in spot-on ska-punk/reggae fashion.

Like I said, the Halo EP isn’t a huge game-changing endeavor. But, to be disappointed by that would be unfair. For the better part of nearly twenty years, Ballyhoo! have made a name for themselves by having fun and doing what they love, and their music reflects that philosophy. So while we may be getting more of the same with this handful of songs, is that really so wrong?

Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Rating: 3/5
Run Time: ~10 min.

01. Halo (Beautiful Day)
02. No Good
03. The Lazy Song (Bruno Mars Cover)

Written by Eric Riley

Ballyhoo Announce New EP and Tour

Ballyhoo will be releasing their new EP, Halo, on June 17th! The band recently released one of the tracks, “The Lazy Song” (Bruno Mars Cover), which debuted at #6 on the iTunes Reggae charts! 

You can find the EP artwork, track listing, and upcoming tour dates below!

Track Listing:
1. Halo (Beautiful Day)
2. No Good (Sound Lounge Session)
3. The Lazy Song (Bruno Mars Cover)

Upcoming Tour Dates (**Full U.S. Tour dates to come**):
5.30 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
5.31 – Richmond, VA @ The Canal Club
6.6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Hard Rock Live
6.21 – Selden, Long Island, NY @ Beer Fields Craft Beer & Music Festival w/ Matisyahu
6.27 – Baltimore, MD @ Power Plant Live
7.6 – Nags Head, NC @ Kelly’s Outer Banks
7.7 – Ocean City, MD @ Seacret’s
7.14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE w/ 311, Sublime with Rome
7.19 – Lombard, IL @ Brauer House
8.24 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ The Boathouse

Review:: Pineapple Grenade | Ballyhoo!


Pineapple Grenade is the latest album from Ballyhoo!, a four piece punk rock reggae band from Aberdeen, Maryland. Since I’m the guy that likes to make lots of comparisons to other artists, I’ll go ahead and do that here. The first two bands that immediately popped in my head were Sublime and Green Day, which funny enough they list as influences on their Facebook page. In addition to that, you’ll likely make connections to early 2000’s Drive-Thru Records staples Home Grown and Rx Bandits, as well as more recent bands like All Time Low. Those are some that popped in my head at least.

“No Good”, a song produced by Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome sounds like it could be on Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane album. That is not meant as a disparaging comment. You can always tell a band is strong when they can throw a song on an album that is different from what the rest of the album sounds like, but still fits in.

Their first single off the album, “Run”, is a fun power pop tune that is sure to be a radio hit. You can certainly hear the Green Day on this song, not as much as say “Out of my Mind”, but you won’t be able to miss it.

Looking for a crooner style song? Do you want it with some funky punk rock beats? Then you are in for a treat with “Morning Sunlight”.

I really enjoyed the album and I’m clearly not the only one. Pineapple Grenade has found itself at #180 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. I’d say that’s not too shabby. The album has such a unique style that you could probably introduce it to fans of many different types of music and they would enjoy it. True story time. While listening to the album to prepare this review, my fiancé said “I don’t what you’re listening to, but I like it”. Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me.

Release Date:  June 25th, 2013
Rating: 4/5
Runtime: ≈43 minutes

Track List:
1.       She Wants to Destroy Me
2.       Battle Cry
3.       Take it Easy
4.       No Good
5.       Run
6.       Things We Don’t Mean
7.       Instigator
8.       Beautiful Day
9.       When They Told Me
10.   Lost at Sea
11.   Out of My Mind
12.   A Lesson in Gravity
13.   Wasting Away
14.   Morning Sunlight

Ballyhoo! is:
Howi Spangler – Vocals / Guitar
Donald Spangler – Drums
JR Gregory – Bass
Scott Vandrey – Turntables / Keys

Written By: Mark Northern

Show Review:: Summer Sickness Tour 6/25/13


Brighton Music Hall, Boston MA.
June 25th, 2013

Driving into Boston was a bittersweet ride Tuesday afternoon. The Chicago Blackhawks came into Boston and won the Stanley Cup on the Bruins’ home ice Monday night, but the sting of the loss didn’t have much time to reside with me – because Tuesday night was a punk show.
Ballyhoo! and Authority Zero made their way through Boston, about mid-way through their co-headlining Summer Sickness Tour, each with an album’s worth of new material in-hand. With some help from opening act Versus the World, the night was a blaring swirl of punk, pop, and reggae fused into a few hours.

There was a bit of confusion at the box office, so I wasn’t able to catch the first opener, but through the doors, they sounded pretty great. But at 7:30 when Versus the World took the stage, I forgot about the previous drama and witnessed a pleasant surprise. The brief 45-minute set worked great as an opening act – passionate, talented, and entertaining. They began without much audience attention, but by the closing notes, they had a room of new fans.

I’ve known of Authority Zero for years, and they’ve always been one of those groups that I’ve heard about and meant to check out when I had time. Man, I really should have. Around half past 8:00, the band took the stage. And, with that, they took complete control over the venue. Their set was just around an hour, but they crammed their hearts into every second of it, not wasting a moment with their fans that “came out to have some fucking fun, even on a Tuesday night.”

Lastly, to wrap up the night – one that has already impressed me immensely, was Ballyhoo! Their fusion of alternative, reggae, punk, and pop swam throughout the room better than most bands I’ve seen. After the first note, singer/guitarist Howi Spangler urged and motioned the crowd to get as close to the stage as they could.

And we all did.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, a room filled with a mixture of diehard fans and new listeners swayed and sang for the better part of an hour. From the start of their set, through a round of shots, a plethora of guitar solos, and what seemed to be the crowd favorite “Meat Head,” the energy was relentless and unending.

Even without knowing the bands’ discographies, it was still one of the most entertaining and all-around impressive shows I’ve seen in a while. The contrasts of Versus the World’s pop-punk, leading to Authority Zero’s fast, heavy punk rock, followed by the genre-mixed Ballyhoo!, it was a lineup combination that drew varied fanbases into the pit, but helped lead each one of them out the doors at the end of the night with ringing ears and smiles on their faces.

Ballyhoo!’s Pineapple Grenade, Authority Zero’s The Tipping Point, and Versus the World’s Drink. Sing. Live. Love. are all available now.


Authority Zero
No Other Place
Brick in the Wave
No Regrets
Take Or Leave It
For The Kids
Over Seasons
Today We Heard the News
The Tipping Point
Taking On the World
One More Minute
Chili Con Crudo
Lift One Up
Big Bad World
Get It Right
Find Your Way

Last Night
Battle Cry
Walk Away
Meat Head
Close to Me
She Wants to Destroy Me
Scarlet Blue
Marijuana Laws
The Fool
The Quest
Cali Girl
Lost at Sea
The Getaway
Paper Dolls
Outta My Mind

Written By: Eric Riley