Released: March 29, 2023
Wake up, ska fans, because something big just dropped – Bad Optix, the new band from Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels.
Jesse Michaels and Tim Armstrong are back working together again, and the ska world is about to erupt… it just doesn’t know it yet. But give it a few days to make the rounds and for the word to spread, and people are going to be losing their shit over this. Why? Because this might as close as ever get to having Michaels and Armstrong reforming the legendary Operation Ivy. Fans of the ska genre have been practically begging for this, on their knees praying for this – for these two gentlemen to hook back up again, and it has finally happened.
Fine. This isn’t Operation Ivy – granted. But the chemistry these two guys had together back in the late 80s should be enough to wet panties and boxer-briefs the world over. Filled out by Joey Castillo (Circle Jerks, The Bronx) and bassist Spencer Pollard (Trash Talk), and you’re starting to grasp the big picture.
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For those that remember Tim Armstrong’s 2007 solo album A Poet’s Life, consider that as a starting block and then start to think of all the possibilities. Yeah, it’s just one track, so far. There are no signs of distorted guitar nor of any punk rock yet, but the bluebeat, the rocksteady, ska and of course reggae is all there, and the whole package is glorious.
Raid answers a major question right off bat, with Jesse Michaels jumping on the microphone to sing the first verse of the song – Tim Armstrong then takes over and the pair switch off the rest of the way. How good it is to be talking about new music from this duo again.
This is the first installment of what is to be the Hellcat Singles Club: a collection of new releases by a variety of bands curated by Tim Armstrong and the Hellcat team
“Raid is about every person’s spiritual autonomy from the powers that be,” says Michaels. “Regardless of who they are or what their particular struggle is. Like many of the tracks we have worked on, I heard the music and wrote the lyrics very quickly, almost on the spot. This was only the second song we did but it felt hot immediately and just flowed so we thought it would be a good way to introduce the new band to the world.”
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Did you catch the part where Michaels said this was the second song? Meaning that more is on the way, folks.
Currently, there isn’t a physical version to be purchased – presumably because there’s just the one track, but those that like streaming their music will be glad to know that the track is on Spotify and YouTube currently. We can only hope that this is a tease to what is to come in the very, very near future.
For Fans Of: Operation Ivy, Rancid, The Bronx