It feels good to help out people who haven’t gotten a fair shake in the circus of influence and notoriety. Jonah Jenkins definitely fits in that category, as does his old band Only Living Witness. We covered the band in Decibel #027, which includes a Hall of Fame feature on their influential album, Prone Mortal Form. (My own pet joke about them is that they’re basically the Acid Bath of Boston, in that they’re an amazing rock band who, in a just world, should have become a much bigger deal.)
But Jonah’s roots have always been in the punk and hardcore scene, which he’s continued to represent in bands like Milligram and Raw Radar War. Now it looks like he has yet another project called The Northern Skulls, along with guitarist Johnny Mullin, drummer Logan Tarmac and bassist Glen Stilphen (who also played with the legendary Gang Green back in the day).
I feel like there’s a little wink and nod in the title of the song below. “Earth DE” bears a striking resemblance to the title of the Misfits last Danzig-era album, Earth A.D. And I mean, hey, the word “Skulls” is in the band name too. The music itself bears a much closer resemblance to the earlier Static Age-era (there’s even a “Wohhh” section!), along with some stylistic callbacks to Hüsker Dü, Descendants and Dinosaur Jr. What this gives you is an irresistibly catchy tune, breathing some much-needed life into the standard melodic punk-rock template. Too bad Warped Tour is going away, I feel like the band’s sound would be well received there, with a crowd full of fans shouting in unison: “Gotta keep the rot away!”
Check out “Earth DE” now and let’s hope for much more of this from The Northern Skulls in the months to come.