Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hepcat Right On Time Review

Hepcat "Right On Time" LP 

Hepcat is a band that should be on every jazz fans list. This is a jazzy ska record that doesn’t get enough respect, if you ask me. There’s something special about “Right on Time”, from the introductory phone call from one of the member’s father, to the way that the music flows through time. This was released in the 1990s, and yet it sounds like something that you’d find on a juke box from your favorite 50’s diner. This is a very intriguing ska record because of the way the vocal harmonies work. If that doesn’t grab you and take you back in time, then at least consider the way that the music works.

Hepcat’s “Right on Time” presents a lot of jazz momentum. The trumpet alone is beautiful, and the horn section just puts on a showcase of interludes, bridges, and moments that are too much like jazz to call ska alone. Through the record you get a feeling that these guys are traditionally trained, and not just a rag tag grouping that were picked up on Hell Cat Records. Tim Armstrong really knows how to pick up bands, as this record is such a great one for the label.


With “Right On Time”, you are treated to a lovely wave of ska mixed with jazz and reggae for good measure. Even though the way the band plays is slated as “first wave” style, this record came out in 1998. I’m always astonished by how good these records are from the genre. I spoke about Hepcat in the past, but this time around, I am listening with fresh ears. There’s just something so grand about this record, and yet so many people don’t even listen.

I’m always surprised by prices on records, and if you want to pick this up on CD, the original 1998 release, you can do so for under a buck by clicking here. Overall, Hepcat’s “Right On Time” is a lovely, soulful ska record that deserves far more attention than it received.

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