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Music

JER’s Dazzling Debut “BOTHERED / UNBOTHERED” Charts The Sound of Ska-Punk to Come

July 22, 2022

“I shouldn’t have to prove myself!”

Whether we’re fully in the midst of ska’s fourth wave or merely on its precipice, there have been few artists who have done more to make the 4th wave inevitable than JER. As the mastermind behind Skatune Network and member of We Are The Union, JER’s deep love for the scene and sound is exuded in everything they touch. On their debut solo full length, the multi-instrumentalist and ska evangelist creates a masterclass in the past, present, and future of the movement.

 

 

“there’s power in numbers
we just have to stand up
cause building a better world
is gonna be rough”

 

Fueled by a pop-punk backbone, JER kicks off with the pit-starting “BOTHERED.” The driving track perfectly balances JER’s socio-political messaging with the joy inherent in the massive horn riffs. It’s furious, it’s celebratory, it’s complicated, and most importantly, it’s just fucking great. Throughout, JER never shies away from confrontation, while simultaneously effortlessly churning out infectious hooks. The album highlight “Clout Chasers!” is a gleeful middle finger to the people who were nowhere to be found until the bandwagon came circling.

Nowhere is JER’s mission statement more clear on the impressive “Decolonize Yr Mind” which mixes a sonic exploration of the millions of disparate descendants of ska’s first wave with a vision of a bright future in which liberation is the norm rather the goal. With an assist from the always welcome Elise Okusami of Oceanator, the track runs through JER’s “dream of an alternate reality / free of colonizers severing our history.” It’s as sonically ambitious as it is visionary.

Ska at its best has always found a way to balance the joy of possibility with the struggles of the now. With BOTHERED / UNBOTHERED, JER manages to push both to their extremes. The record is defiant in its joyfulness, a true reminder that there’s no revolution without dancing.

 

 

Follow JER on socials at @skatunenetwork

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