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

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