Ska, the endangered panda of the music world, is back! Thriving on being underground, the mainstream audiences caused ska music to retreat into the background-luckily, one band, Umbrella Bed, has helped ska crawl out from the darkness. Combining swing, punk, reggae, and new wave beats, into a 2-tone burrito, Umbrella Bed released their latest EP, Refill, through Madbutcher Records, which marks the first of a three part EP series.
Getting their start in 1995, Umbrella Bed hit the musical pavement skanking in style. Almost twenty years later UB has continued to be a huge success. Having toured in Germany, France, Hungary, Serbia, Vienna, Czech Republic, and the United States-UB is no noob to the skanking generation. Classified as “Minneapolis 2-tone ska,” UB has been nominated for several Minnesota Music Awards and has won the “Best New Band” award from City Pages in Minneapolis. Among a few noted performances are the Time Music Series, Grand Old Days in St. Paul, The Rochester Downtown Music Series, Stillwater Summer Music Series and numerous other shows. Playing alongside artists like, The Skatalities, The Toasters, The Specials, and Mustard Plug (just to name a few) has helped UB spread their music across the globe.
The release of Refill adds to Umbrella Bed’s collection of five full-length releases. Eight members, one awesome band: Hellrock (vocals/trumpet), Al Teagarden (trombone), Eva Washburn (french horn/vocals), Mitch Thompson (drums), Kabel Lefto (guitar/vocals), Francisco Guerra (bass), Scott Wilcock (saxophone), and Joy Judge (trombone). Refill makes the band feel like it’s “just getting started.” With a new EP in the works, UB shares that, “It’s taken 18 years to really find out feet and we are ready to go.” The five tracks on the first release in the three part EP series-each packed full of good times and encourage listeners to have fun!
The track, “Two Tone Monster,” has a fun, ska-infused music video to accompany the release of Refill. With ska, reggae and 2 tone inspirations, “Two Tone Monster,” proves that Umbrella Bed is here to stay. “Wish That It Would Stop,” also made into a music video, gives an inside look at the energy only Umbrella Bed could create. Even after 18 years, UB is still so full of life and vivacity.
Refill is just the beginning of a new life for Umbrella Bed. 2014 will be the year UB ska-two-steps their way into the eardrums of larger audiences. Refill is perfect for any situation-with lyrics that aren’t meant to be analyzed too deeply and music that brings life to the room, it’s the perfect album for feeling, well, to put it simply, Refill will make you happy.