OK, it’s not more cowbell, it’s less horns—but no matter how the ska-tastic miscreants from RX Bandits tweaked their sound for their latest album, ’09’s Mandala, the band’s overall sound retains its overriding modus operandi: a metamorphic merging of punk, rock and reggae dynamics that bespeaks social consciousness and promises one sweet time in the pit. The band’s had plenty of time to hone its songwriting craftsmanship and quota for rocking the stage, emerging from its Seal Beach stomping grounds to rise up the ranks of the ’90s third-wave ska revival (which also included Reel Big Fish and Save Ferris), releasing Those Damn Bandits (Trivia buffs: Back then they were known as the Pharmaceutical Bandits) in 1997 before signing to Drive-Thru Records the following year. But apparently, this stint on an indie label wasn’t much of a picnic as the Bandits’ website bio states that as “the band’s music rapidly matured, its label didn’t—leading to many years’ strife and struggle to stick to their guns and release the music they wanted.” Ouch. Doesn’t sound like this was much fun (in fact, the band refers to its Drive-Thru experiences as “bondage.”), but at the very least music fans got three albums out of the whole ordeal: Halfway Between Here and There, Progress and The Resignation (“The seething sentiments in the titles are quite telling,” the band notes.). Here’s to keeping the past the past and looking to what the future holds for the RX Bandits. Oh, you caught these guys at Coachella last weekend? How about catching this Glass House show? Won’t have to worry about a three day-long sunburn.
RX Bandits w/Zechs Marquise, Lisa Papineau, Good Old War at The Glass House, 200 W. 2nd. St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us, www.rxbandits.com. Fri, April 23. Doors open 7PM. $13 advance, $15 door.