2020 brought a lot of unprecedented things for everyone, and no exception is Grand Rapids based Punk-Ska band Dance Contraption, who had completed the musical backing of their newest album entitled World Keeps Spinning just before the Covid-19 Shutdown in the USA, leaving vocals to be recorded to finish the release. Dance Contraption made their new album in the wonder space of Cold War Studios in Grand rapids with mix master Rick Johnson (the rock and roll machine), then Covid shut everything down and left front man and band leader Nick Franklin no choice but to get the proper recording equipment to do vocals from his home basement/studio in order to complete the release. The result is a polished, edgy, yet poppy release that has some of Dance Contraptions catchiest tunes.
Live, Dance Contraption carries just as much if not more energy than on the record, and really "picks it up" to get the audience moving and engaged. It's this fun live presence that you don't lose going to the studio, positive vibes are spewed around with not a gray cloud in sight on a perfect sunny day.
The sound of the album is bouncy with walking bass lines, driving with distorted guitar and drums, and fleshed out atmospherically out with horns and gang vocals. While being shorter than 2019's Not So Bold, the sound of the band makes a slight shift to a familiar, yet new sound. All the songs are relatable lyrically with titles such as "Why Worry", "It's All Perception", and "World Keeps Spinning"
Perhaps the most divergent track on the new record is "Runner Up", a vocal driven piece that's earnest and introspective. The album art cover is a tad comforting as well with the world balanced on a beer bottle and fun is further conveyed with a Bob Marley cover, "Stir It Up", a classic live track for the band. For a ska deprived area such as Grand Rapids, this is a must hear band and album that will surely go down as one of the greats with Mustard Plug and the Toasters.
- Ryne's Reviews