June 21, 2011 - Fat Wreck Chords
At this point, Ellwood are essentially the Mad Caddies exploring their reggae side. But it isn’t that simple: All four members of Ellwood are also members of the Caddies, and the project started with vocalist/guitarist Chuck Robertson jamming with some buddies, including original Caddies drummer Todd Rosenberg and Dustin Lanker of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, in his garage in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. When the Caddies recently went through what can only be described as “member strife,” Robertson recruited the three other members of Ellwood into his main band. Meanwhile, Ellwood had a full-length recorded and it didn’t take Fat Wreck Chords long to release this baby, since the label’s supported Robertson’s main gig for almost 15 years. And it’s not just band loyalty that has Fat on board, despite the fact that Lost In Transition isn’t a typical release for the decidedly punk/hardcore label. Tracks such as “Mag Girl” and “Sunshine Garden” explore a polished, laid-back style of ska mixed with some straight reggae tracks. Similar to Canada’s Bedouin Soundclash, Ellwood would be real crowd-pleasers at outdoor summer festivals. Those looking for ska that’s speedy or punk-ish might be better served sticking to the Mad Caddies’ extensive back catalog, but if your hot rays and cool drinks need a mellow-vibe soundtrack, Ellwood are the perfect elixir.