artist: P-Nuckle | genre: reggae, punk | label: Revolution Sound Lab
The storied connection between reggae and punk goes back many, many moons. Clubs who were brave enough to cater to punk and hardcore bands used to play reggae in between sets so as to settle the crowd down before the next band hit the stage. It worked. I, myself, remember many a night spent in the hallowed halls of the old 930 Club in downtown Washington. Dag Nasty, Government Issue and the like ripped the roof of the joint back in the day. The pits were massive and the air electric from the very first power chord to the last cymbal crash. It was mayhem and it was awesome. Then, before the band could even unplug their guitars the reggae vibrations would descend upon the crowd from the rafters above, or so it seemed, like a tepid tropical breeze and, almost instantly, order was restored. While punk and reggae coexisted at the same show, it was the godfathers of the DC hardcore scene that actually married the two genres in the same set. If it please the court, I enter exhibit A…Bad Brains. HR, Dr. No, Darryl Jennifer and Earl Hudson proved that a band’s sound was defined by, well, the band and not some corporate A&R cat looking to cash in on the next big thing. It is because of those reggae/punk experiences from back in the day that I developed a deep seeded appreciation and respect for both genres.
Flash forward to today and we find a global indie music seen abounding in talented reggae and punk bands. Nothing startling there. However, it’s a very rare occasion indeed to find a band ambitious/courageous enough these days to attempt to merge the (2) long acquainted musical styles…let alone one that can pull it off. That, my friends, is what makes Colorado’s P-Nuckle so intriguing. They blend the smoothness of roots reggae, the riddim of dancehall and the energy of emo-punk in such a way that the transitions are virtually seamless. The tracks just fit. Granted their style is not as hardcore in either direction as Bad Brains was but then again, whose is?! Their most recently release, Stand Up, certainly captures the essence of the band’s sound however, after seeing some video clips of the boys in action, for one to truly experience all that is P-Nuckle their live show is a must. These cats are the complete package.