Flight 180 - Line Up

In a market saturated with Ska bands, you may well have overlooked Flight 180's 1998 debut BEC Recordings disc, Crackerjack. In a market that is currently saturated by swing and neo-swing bands, you may be tempted to overlook Flight 180's latest project, Lineup. But, writing as one who has been as cynical as anyone about artists jumping on genre bandwagons, I urge you not to dismiss this release as Yet Another Swing Album.

"Hello Kitty" is the bright horn section announcing the arrival of the band. An upright bass and piano sneak their way in to the mix, adding a bit of interest to the tune. Kim Tennberg's vocals, soon to be joined by Kimmy Mendoza with harmonies and scatting (and an occasional "meowmeowmeowmeow") will catch your attention and keep you. This is authentic swing music. Where so many of their contemporaries fail, Flight 180 suceeds because it apparently has researched and understands the music and artists they are paying homage to.

One original song that makes itself noticed is the ballad, "Real Live Gent." Featuring sweet vocals from the two Kims, the song is a tribute to that sincere, honest guy somewhere out there. The slow, dreamy feel of the piano add a nice touch and help to accentuate the vocals.

One thing that makes a big impact to this record, however, is Gene Eugene's production. He has helped to create an authentic sound with a great mix throughout. At times one can almost believe the band is playing in front of old ribbon microphones, except that the sound is so clean.