MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Half Past Two is the ska, reggae, pop-punk blend that's been missing from your life
Their latest 3-song EP 'Something Blue' is a ska-core dream, making it the perfect record to explore during a home-bound vacation
Southern California hybrid act Half Past Two have dropped a three-song EP titled 'Something Blue', and if this release doesn't get you tapping your feet, nothing will.
Half Past Two is a 9-piece blend of ska, rock, reggae and pop-punk from Orange County, California comprised of Tara Hahn (Vocals), Max Beckman (Guitar, Vocals), David Parris (Keys, Guitar, Vocals), Cameron Hallenbeck (Lead Guitar), Mark Anderson (Bass), Dan Evans (Drums), Jordy Coutin (Trumpet), Jack Sneddon (Trombone), and Din Fernandes (Baritone Sax). After over a decade together, the band put out their previous release, 2017's 'Camp Slushtone': a diverse, seven-track record that reflected the band's roots and ambitions that was, rather fittingly, supported by a Kickstarter campaign that reached over 400% of the project's goal.
Half Past Two has, since the beginning, been uplifted by its most dedicated fans and followers, with the band being a veteran on the live local scene. Their strong connection to the Orange County music scene is evidenced by an Orange County Music Awards nomination for Best Alternative Band, airplay on KROQ FM radio, claiming the Number One track for 2014 on Tazy Phillipz’s Ska Parade internet radio show, and inclusion in the 2016 indie movie 'Confessions of a Womanizer' (featuring Gary Busey and C. Thomas Howell).
Perhaps the greatest reward for those who have stuck by the band through the years is the steady stream of music they've put out, particularly in 2020 when most people have needed it the most. In addition to their own original music, Half Past Two has also actively released some stellar covers including 'Ugly Day' by Five Iron Frenzy, 'Hackensack' by Fountains of Wayne, 'Revolution' by Amy Gabba and the Almost Famous, The Brady Bunch theme song, and 'Lost Again' by Dance Hall Crashers, all of which are available via the band's YouTube channel. While demonstrating the band's stunning musical gifts, the covers as well as the rest of their work this year has given fans a glimpse into what Half Past Two may have sounded like if they weren't the ska band their fans have come to love.
But, rest assured, even if they experiment and have a total blast playing a wide range of tunes, they're still that genre-blending ska act they've always been, and their most recent EP 'Something Blue', produced by David Irish features three trad-flavored tracks sure to please any ska fan. The band delivers on the instrumentation, which most may have come to expect from them, giving us some stunningly smooth melodies along the way. Hahn's vocals, supported by Beckman and Parris, carries the tunes effortlessly, with a perfect blend of old school charm and post-punk ska.