It's rare for me to do profiles of bands these days. And for me to cover a ska band, well, that was completely unheard of. That was, until Rude King came along. I knew of the band's lead singer, Jon Bravo, from his time in the short lived Hi-Fi Collective. The band even performed at one of my shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill during the summer of 2009. While I liked the band, I honestly did not feel that Mr. Bravo's voice was quite as well suited for singing the band's style of alternative rock.
Perhaps that's because Mr. Bravo's voice is so perfectly suited to sing ska. Because in Rude King, his vocals are a key part of the band's charm. And while it would easy for me to fixate on Jon's role in the band, he is backed by a more than capable group of musicians. Rob Tovar keeps the energy going with his drums, the brass section (consisting of Houston Bogus on trombone and Mason Neeley on trumpet) is first rate, and Vicki Tovar (Rob's wife) adds an extra dimension to the band with her vocals.
Alas, Ms. Tovar will not be heard on the track featured at #40 on the countdown. The version of "Love Bomb" that charts was recorded before she joined the band. The song does also appear on the band's most recent album, Ruder, Better, Faster, Stronger, but I felt the energy of the original recording (from Rude to the Last Drop) does the song better justice. Give it a listen, and feel free to skank along!