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RX Bandits

Emerging from Orange County's thriving ska-punk scene, RX Bandits quickly made a name for themselves as a unit willing to take musical risks and lyrical stances, largely thanks to lead singer and guitarist Matt Embree, whose songwriting continued to evolve in a more progressive direction as RX Bandits grew to their eventual complement of six. Formed in 1995 as Pharmaceutical Bandits, the original lineup featured Embree, bassist Franz J. Worth, drummer Chris Tsagakis, Noah Gaffney on sax, and Rich Balling on trombone. This edition of the band cut its debut album, Those Damn Bandits, in 1997. A year later, the band officially changed its name to RX Bandits, and cut its more polished and ambitious second effort, Halfway Between Here & There, for Drive-Thru Records.

Soon the group was sharing stages with the likes of Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, and New Found Glory. Released in 2001, Progress, another thematic and musical step forward, introduced a new lineup of RX Bandits; Worth, Gaffney, and Balling were out of the band, and added to the membership were keyboardist Steve Choi, bassist Joseph Troy, trombonist Chris Sheets, and saxophonist Steve Borth. The band continued to build its national following, appearing on the Warped Tour and playing its own club gigs. In 2002, Embree started the Mash Down Babylon (MDB) label, which emphasized the band's role in a larger musical community. With July 2003's Resignation (issued through Drive-Thru's distribution agreement with MCA), RX Bandits took their progressive sound to another level entirely, excising much of the ska in favor of moodier reggae and raw, near post-hardcore screeds. It was also a platform for Embree's views on society and politics. That September, RX Bandits headed out with Something Corporate for a two-month club tour.

Summer 2006 found the band on nationwide headlining dates, leading up to the fall release of its next album, ...And the Battle Begun, on MDB. Borth also exited the group. In 2009, the band released the album Mandala, followed by extensive touring that included multi-night runs in New York and Los Angeles. In 2011, RX Bandits announced they were going on hiatus, and that they intended to give up touring following a run of dates in the summer of that year. However, in 2012 the group members had a change of heart, setting up a tour of Brazil, and in 2013 RX Bandits released an EP of covers, The Resignation, followed by a North American tour. RX Bandits reconvened as a four-piece (Chris Sheets left, stripping the band of its horns) in 2014 to record and release a new album, Gemini, Her Majesty, through Pledge Music. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Thank you for finally including Mandala!
Very lucky to see de facto. Cedric Omar and Ikey.
mymail21
That was a great show dude!
Best show I ever saw was: Midtown, Finch, The Starting Line, Something Corporate, De Facto, and most of all Rx Bandits! all at a small place called the Glass House in Pomona. 2002 baby!!
I think Pandora needs to figure out that the Bandits has a new album last year...... Mandala. Please get it on Pandora soon!
Did this guy sing for the supertones?
chris1211988
cant wait to see them live on 420 in the barn, heard they were breaking up :(
i would add the songs you like over a blanket band radio station, that way it maps the sounds you like versus it all.
Sheets is no longer in the band, FYI.

The bandits are a very tough band to put on pandora, because their sound has morphed so much over the years. They're much more like The Mars Volta and Muse these days than RBF or Sublime. Should be some way for Pandora to accept this fact.
Mandala is obviously too mind-blowing for you guys...its an album to listen to, not to hear.
Progress and The Resignation are still two of my favorite albums of all time. However, their newer stuff has gotten pretty out there. And dropping the horn section is a tough pill to swallow.
futak.eric
definitely resignation. i got it after atbb came out, but after a while i decided to go back. and it blew me away
The resignation is one of my favorite complete albums. I dont think I will follow the progression on Mandala, I hope he still keeps up with side stuff,Sounds of Animals fighting FTW!
gay gay gay
Halfway Between Here & There was not their debut album...
good comments...b u t how bad did this guy under acknowledge chois influence in the band. Loosing the horns in mandala is ok for the album but I hope they bring them back on there next project. The more instruments the more directions they can go. That what make the band so enjoyable to listen to. The ever changing way they create music. That also probably why there so good live. And has anybody seem them perform songs from 'the battle' with out the horns, ....ridiculo u s , they work overtime playin
Every time I see RXB live, they take me on a musical journey. They are by far one of the best bands I've had the privilege of watching.
djlapenna
yes they did have trumpets... Halfway, and Those damn bandits... RXB no longer relates to bands like Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, or any ska band... I wish pandora would not play ska bands while listening to The Rx Bandits Station.... Similar Artists= The Mars Volta, Portugal. The Man, The Sound of Animals Fighting (rxb side project), At The Drive in,
They never had trumpets! They had a trombone and a tenor sax (maybe alto and bari also). Also I am happy they killed the horns... They aren't ska, they haven't been since progress.

Horns does not = Ska

Otherwise, all jazz, reggae, swing, and other genres would also be ska. I see them more like muse or dave matthews band at this point especially with mandala out now. Slightly orchestrated rock music fused with a buncha genres.
Where is ...And The Battle Begun and Mandala? Two great albums. It's too bad that the horn section is gone, but Mandala surprised me, it is an excellent album.
I took my girl to see them in Sac, she loves Matt. It sucks they wont have their trumpets anymore
definitely liking their new music better, esp from ...And The Battle Begun. cant wait for the new album!
They really aren't ska anymore. According Steve Choi (from one of his Twitter post) they're Groove Tech now. They are actually tired of being called ska. dtc588 is right, they're sound is closer the bands he listed.
They are competing for my favorite ska band with streetlight manifesto
dtc588
They are not ska anymore and haven't been really for 8 or 9 years. Also each of their albums change each time, so its hard to match them up how people like. If you want later stuff try looking up some of these bands to help match up:
Portugal. The man / Men, women and children / Monty Are I / State Radio / Circa Survive
They have toured with all of those bands in recent years so its a start... good luck and please add to this list.
Also new album on MDB Records around fall 2009!
komityjr92
where are their other albums? what's with this?
I know what you mean orange starfish
there really arent any cool bands close enough to rx bandits and the way they do things
not saying that the other bands on the station arent cool.
but i want cool ska with more of a message and a progressive attitude
and the other things are cool butnot exactly what im looking for, and not enough variety or for variety


...


i love rx
orange_starf i s h
I love RX but this station blows. There are only a few bands that are even remotely similar. The rest are too hard or they have no horns, no ska influence. I'm frustrated.
AWESOME live show.
I love these guys. I seen 'em everytime they come into town.
i saw them six or seven years ago with reel big fish and goldfinger.. . i was impressed. i dig it..reggae/s k a tones but not overly upbeat
they put on the best live shows WORD
Yo i can't believe this either. They definitely put on an excellent live show--i see them every chance i get. I dunno how anyone can hear RXB and not love it.
alwayschoose . n e r d s
i cannot believe that there is only ONE comment about the Rx Bandits. seriously, people? theyre pretty much amazing.
hubbardunt
Every album is great. But, they throw down in concert... the most fun I have ever had at a concert!

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