Ballyhoo! “Daydreams” Album review

In 2006, when I was 15, I came across Ballyhoo!’s album Do It For The Money,  and I have honestly loved these guys ever since. I was blown away by their reggae, punk rock fusion sound and lead singer, Howie Spangler’s amazing vocals.  Ballyhoo!, a four piece band hailing from Maryland,  is all about playing feel-good music that captures the sounds the West Coast and So-Cal vibes.  After several years of touring and amassing a group of die-hard fans, Ballyhoo! has become the latest member to join the LAW Records family.
Last year Ballyhoo! released their first album under LAW Records, Daydreams. The twelve track record showcases a more mature side of the band, while still retaining all of the fun of the old Ballyhoo! sound that fans know and love.  The clean vocals and upbeat reggae guitar riffs were outstanding throughout the entire album. One new feature that Ballyhoo! seemed eager to show off is the addition of the keyboard. The keys are proudly displayed in the opening track, “Evil Penguin”.  “Evil Penguin” was a perfect start to the record, and got me stoked to listen to the rest. It starts off soft with some simple piano scales, building up to the harder punk-reggae sound. It flows flawlessly into the next song, “Last Night”, which is jam packed with catchy lyrics and enjoyable power chords.  “Diamonds” slows the pace down a bit, and is slightly softer than some of the other tracks, closer to the pre-LAW Records, Ballyhoo! sound. “Meat Head” was probably my favorite track off the album, in part due to the cool bass line and awesome guitar work along with Howie’s spot-on vocals.  With “The Getaway” Ballyhoo! proves just how hard they can rock out, containing crazy, amazing drumming and some killer breakdowns. The final track “Ricochet” rounds out the album perfectly, tying back in the new piano layer and ending with an uplifting message.
If you want an awesome album that captures the essence of feel-good, summer fun, please do yourself a favor and check out Ballyhoo!’s album Daydream.  For fans of reggae-rock bands, such as Pepper, Sublime, The Supervillains, or The Expendables, definitely give Ballyhoo! a listen. This little known gem may surprise you!  I can’t wait to hear what’s next from these guys, as they never seem to disappoint. If you get a chance, catch Ballyhoo! out at this year’s Vans Warped Tour, you’ll definitely be in for a treat.
-Lauren L.

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