FOLLY / THE BEST OF THE WORST "Wavebreaker 3" Vinyl
"Wavebreaker 3" by Folly and The Best of the Worst, 12" Picture Discs and 7" Vinyl.
Album Artwork by Dana Yurcisin.
300 12" Picture Discs
300 7" Coke Bottle Green w/ Aqua Blue Splatter
300 7" Aqua Blue w/ Double-mint Green Splatter
200 7" Electric Blue (Bad Time Record Club Variant)
100 7" Aqua Blue (Band / Release Show Variant)
When the “Wavebreaker” concept first came up, it was easy to fantasize about pairing legendary bands with the current bad time roster… what those combos would be, what the songs might sound like, how the bands would react to their literal heroes wanting to make music with them. One of the first combinations I thought of was Folly, a band who pushed skacore to it’s absolute limit during their short-lived run through the early 2000s, and their clear modern day counterparts The Best of The Worst. “Wouldn’t that be nuts” was the prevailing thought about how possible this would be. But… it’s real, it’s here, and to me personally at least, it’s a lot bit mind blowing.
I’ve talked a lot about the New Jersey scene that I grew up in… a true melting pot of genre, where (as a ska band at least) you never knew what type of bill you were going to be on any given night at any given vfw hall or church basement. Ska bands played with metal bands, hardcore bands, punk bands… and as far as I was concerned, if you wanted to be accepted in any of these scenes you need to try and mesh these styles together. One band stood above all others when it came to defining this concept… Folly. They are the only band I saw play at Hellfest one week(a legendary hardcore fest where, yes, you were going to get karate kicked), and then open for Mustard Plug the next. They were so intensely heavy that nobody could doubt their commitment to hardcore and metalcore; intricate dissonant riffs, songs that could shift between keys and tempos and time signatures without missing a beat, and breakdowns that would make any hardcore kid step back and say “damn” before windmilling into the pit. But then… just as they’d get the crowd whipped into a frenzy, they would seamlessly break into ska parts. In a time where ska was literally a dirty word that could get you shunned from a scene, this band was changing the minds of thousands of heavy music fans and making them realize that their biases were simply ill-informed. Folly has always been the great equalizer to me… the perfect response to my hardcore loving ska hating friends. I can not tell you how many close personal friends I have that went from “hating ska”, to discovering Folly, to LOVING and even MAKING SKA. Not only did they turn fans, but they became an enormous influence on an entire generation of musicians who loved both heavy music and ska… showing them what was possible in the extremes, and encouraging them to not hold back or be defined by ‘scene rules’. The one band that truly took up Folly’s mantle after they disbanded in 2008, and continue to carry on their ethos and style…. was The Best of the Worst.
The Best of the Worst are not shy about who their biggest influences are. For years they gave away a big red bumper sticker that just said “FOLLY > THE BEST OF THE WORST”. The first time I was given “Perspectives” I almost jumped out of my chair. “FINALLY” I thought, “SOMEONE IS TRYING TO MAKE SKACORE LIKE FOLLY…. AND DOING A GOOD JOB!!!” While their sound is truly an amalgamation of the entire NJ music scene around the mid 2000s (ska, punk, emo), it was impossible to ignore the Folly influence while hearing another band successfully blend ska and metalcore. I was in heaven. I’ve mentioned before that The Best of The Worst is one of my favorite bands of all time, and one of the reasons why is because they filled a void and picked up the mantle for one of my OTHER favorite bands of all time… Folly. I’m beyond stoked to say that the void is gone. For the first time in 14 years, there is new Folly music. And it seems only appropriate to me that it comes paired with new music by The Best of the Worst.
“Walter White Whale” sounds exactly like what I would want new Folly to sound like. Note 1 takes your breath away as the band kicks in with no brakes. You’re instantly pulverized with tritones in asymmetric time, while Jon Tumillo’s shriek feels like it could wake you from a coma…. to me it signals “Folly is back” in the most Folly way possible. From there it’s a signature aural hedge maze diving between riffs, two-steps, and a signature mis-direction into the realm of ska. Also in typical Folly fashion, the lyrics play a major role in the song’s charm; while the uninitiated might hear screams of anger, a deeper listen reveals wordplay, metaphor, an affinity for pop-culture references, and a signature tongue and cheek sense of humor that seems to burn even brighter against such an intense musical backdrop. If this is your introduction to Folly, I think it’s a great taste of what this band has accomplished musically over the past 20+ years, and a sign of confidence that they still have the ability to surprise and please new and old fans alike.
“Gatekeeper” is a new song by The Best of the Worst, and I feel like any time I can say that it doesn’t require much explanation because you KNOW how I feel about it. It rips. I remember when we first started talking abut this Wavebreaker tbotw expressed that they were stressed about making sure their track was good enough to be alongside a Folly track. Here’s the verdict: yes, it’s good enough and then some. A perfect extension of the band’s sound since “Better Medicine”, this new track blends the intensity of speedy hardcore riffs with some particularly tasty hornlines, danceable ska sections, and one hell of a breakdown at the end that is literally only rivaled by 1. The breakdown at the end of the Folly track and 2. Previous TBOTW breakdowns. As usual it’s also always great to hear a track where Jay and Joe trade vocal sections, as each voice gives a completely new vibe and meaning to each particular section of the song… all topped off by Liz’s harmonies and interjections that lend an even more complex vocal tapestry. This song makes me want to sing along and run through a wall, ie: a TBOTW classic.
Both of these bands are so important to me and have such a huge imprint on who I am as a person and as a ska fan. I literally did not think this Wavebreaker would be possible. It makes me feel like nothing is off limits, and that it is kind of an insane thought. I’m so very lucky to have this, and to be able to share it with you. If everyone starts hating ska again and BTR folds in the next few years, at least I’ll be able to say “yeah that sucks, but… remember that folly/tbotw wavebreaker? That was amazing.” I hope you enjoy.
Side A: Folly "Walter White Whale"
Side B" The Best of the Worst "Gatekeeper"