THE BEST OF THE WORST "Better Medicine"
THE BEST OF THE WORST "Better Medicine"
**NEON PINK VINYL WILL BEGIN SHIPPING APRIL 15 - THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE!!**
THE BEST OF THE WORST - "BETTER MEDICINE" 12" VINYL LP
150 Splatter (Bone w/ Red Blue and Black - Bad Time Records exclusive)
250 Neon Pink
100 Blue w/ Black color-in-color (Choke Artist exclusive: www.chokeartistnj.com)
100 Blue w/ Black Splatter (Bad Time Record Club Variant)
The Best of the Worst is one of my favorite bands of all time. Here is why.
I grew up in the New Jersey punk scene of the early 2000's. From my first few local shows one thing became very clear; genre boundaries didn't mean shit. You could play ska, but could also throw in some speedy skate punk or saccharine emo. You could play metalcore, but could also have a ripping horn section. Bands like Catch 22 made ska kids realize that they also loved and needed the raw energy of hardcore. Bands like Folly made hardcore kids realize ska could be fun as hell and somehow make the hardcore parts seem EVEN HEAVIER. As a young musician in the scene, it seemed imperative to combine styles, smear your heart on your sleeve, embrace the music you love without fear of reproach, and to keep pushing the limits of genre. I don't think any band more fully embodies this idea than The Best of the Worst.
I first “met” the band in a New Brunswick basement (as one does) for a show they helped book for Kill Lincoln. Listening to them completely sonically destroy that basement was like looking into the past and future at the same time; here was a sound that I grew up trying to embrace and personify, and here was a band basically perfecting it. I also came to realize that many of us had actually met years prior… we had all come up together playing the same VFW's, basements, and shitty battle of the bands. As 14 year olds, we probably hated each other. But as a 20-something I felt an instant mutual understanding with them of what ska, punk, and DIY could and SHOULD be all about... and that formed into one of my most cherished musical friendships. The Best of the Worst have been making their own brand of ska-core for almost 15 years purely because they love doing it, and you can feel the love and sum of that experience in every moment of Better Medicine.
It would be easy to label this album a “ska-core masterpiece” and not have to write the rest of this paragraph... but it’s so much more than that, and deserves consideration from anyone with even a fleeting interest in progressive music. It effortlessly swings between blast beat grinds and one-drop reggae, fast speedy ska punk and time-signature bending breakdowns, forgetting what it’s supposed to be and not giving a shit because it’s a runaway train barreling through your eardrums. Joe, Cheech, Kozak, and Jay combine to make one of the tightest rhythm sections in any ONE of these genres, and throughout the record do backflips and cartwheels from section to section that never feel forced but are consistently and delightfully surprising. If one section doesn’t resonate, give it a second and you’ll probably have a completely new listening experience to take in. Where in some ska-core the horns can feel like a novelty, Liz and Stiffy combine to make a melodic counterpoint to even the heaviest and most complex parts of the record… they blend together and match the rhythm’s power blow for blow. On top of all that, the lyrics and vocals on this album are an absolute emotional sledgehammer. There’s a weight to every word belted, screamed, or crooned by vocalists Jay, Liz, and Joe… a feeling that runs through the entire record only made possible during such insane and difficult times. It’s like you’re getting to the top of the hill that is your quarter-life crisis, looking down, and realizing that “real life” has just begun and nobody is coming to save you…. and oh by the way, the planet is on fire. We might be inheriting a broken world, but TBOTW won’t take it laying down. “Jaded views and a shit attitude are all you’ve got left. Are you happy with that?”
I love this band. I love this record. It’s such a poignant musical message about the state of our world, mental health, and self-reflection, with a secondary mission of seeing exactly how far you can push the limits of genre. Keep your mind open and it’ll be filled with very good things from Better Medicine. I really hope you enjoy it.
1. Short Change
2. Wishing Well
3. Counterfeit Smiles
4. This Morbid Life
5. Out of Mind
6. Sour Spot
7. Catch My Breath
8. Learn to Live Another Day
9. Rotten Dichotomy
10. Glass Hands
11. Fine Print
12. Better Medicine
All songs written and recorded by The Best of the Worst
Engineered by Joe Dell'Aquila, Jason Selvaggio, and Joe Scala
Mixed by Jeremy Cimino
Mastered by Ed Hall
Cover photo by Dana Yurcisin
Layout by Mike Sosinski
Jason Selvaggio – vocals, guitar, baritone guitar, acoustic guitar
Joe Scala – vocals, drums, percussion, keyboard
Liz Fackelman – vocals, trombone, keyboard
Garrett Weber – guitar
Ryan Edwards – tenor and baritone sax
Ryan Kosinski – bass