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Steve Caballero | Bandology Vol 1 | review | punk | Lollipop

Steve Caballero

Bandology Vol. 1 (Sessions)
by Morgan Coe

A "Forrest Gump" for the skate-rock set: Four tracks each from Steve Caballero's four bands, stretching seamlessly from the early '80s to the mid-'90s. First off, you've got the most significant one of the bunch, The Faction. Classic first-wave skate punk: Rumbling bass, brisk tempos, plenty of guitar breaks, a touch of echo on the snotty vocals, and plenty of songs about skateboarding and dodging cops. Think McRad, Adolescents, or a cleaned-up Circle Jerks. Next up, Odd Man Out does post-Bad Brains late '80s skate-punk to a tee. Think Chuck Treece's solo records, or 7 Seconds' Soulforce Revolution: Slower tempos, plenty of White reggae in the rhythm section, atmospheric guitars, the odd Cure influence, and even more echo on the singer. With Shovelhead, Cab loses the plot a bit... "groovy" metal riffs, "heavy" tempos, too-low crooning with just a hint of growl... hell, we all went a little crazy in 1991. But after the whole "grunge" thing collapses, our hero comes out of left field with Soda: Straight-ahead Warped Tour pop with a girly female singer, like Tilt but without the pretensions or politics.

Odd Man Out and especially the Faction should make this CD worth checking out for fans of skate-punk; this somewhat obscure sub-genre is crying for a few good reissues (Chuck Treece career retrospective, anyone? Anyone?). On the other hand, the later bands act mostly as an uncomfortable reminder that for all its youthful rebellion and energy, skate-punk (like skateboarding itself) has become comfortably integrated into the commercial culture industry. Steve Caballero may have played guitar in both bands, but The Faction and Soda are from two different worlds.
(60 Old El Pueblo Rd. Scotts Valley, CA 95066)


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