“Forget Stars and Stripes forever, we’d rather pledge our alliance to Left Alone’s Checkers and Plaid!” -Ska Punk Daily
Left Alone’s sixth album, Checkers & Plaid, is coming in dangerously hot - featuring a heavy dosage of high energy Ska (Checkers) and Punk rock anthems (Plaid).
Recorded in a mere five days and engineered/co-produced by TJ Rivera (Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Rancid), the album’s 10 tracks find the California band at its most focused, relentless, and personal - unleashing a constant one-two punch of danceable ska and authentic punk hits. Vocalist/guitarist Elvis Cortez “We went into the studio to record this album like never before. The songs were not over rehearsed and we built them as we went along.”
Checkers & Plaid sees Left Alone continue their Southern California and Mexican culture clash with Te Quiero Ver, which features guest vocals from Big Javy of Mexican Ska legends, Inspector. Elvis shares, “Javy was on vacation over the weekend in the states and I invited him to a family fiesta on Saturday night. Left Alone was recording Monday so I asked him if he would be into singing on a song idea I had and thankfully he said yes. He is one of my favorite singers and sang his parts in one take, a total pro.”
The album kicks off with ska firecracker The Darkness, which was recently featured on Ska Against Racism, the socially important and bestselling ska compilation, which raised over $80K for Black Lives Matter related charities. While the lyrics of The Darkness touch on the struggles associated with maintaining sobriety (and a little thing called love), Scars stresses the need to move on from toxic environments, and Blackhole is a cautionary tale about avoiding getting sucked into a relationship vortex.
You could be mistaken for thinking the album closer, The Fix was written in response to the pandemic and our desperate need to attend a sweaty punk show amongst our fellow music lovers. However, the song was written and recorded over a year ago. Elvis says, “I wrote this song about how music makes me feel and how important it is to us all. From the artist to fan music is the language we all understand and feel that can unify us all.”
Checkers & Plaid is out... on Smelvis/Hellcat Records.
1. The Darkness
3. Te Quiero Ver (Feat. Big Javy)
5. West End Girl
7. Mile High
8. Into the Sun
10. The Fix