Formed in 1980 as Gilligan’s Revenge and renamed in 1984, Queens’ Token Entry has survived a number of lineup changes (drummer Ernie Parada is the only remaining original member) to become one of New York City’s most versatile and respected skatepunk groups. With vocalist Anthony Comunale (now fronting Killing Time), the quartet released the 7-inch Ready or Not EP in ’86: all four tracks resurfaced on the first LP, but with Timmy Chunks snagging the mic. Despite Tim’s off-key moments, his exuberance propels the band, especially on “Look Around,” “Over You” and “The Edge.” Between bullets of unrefined energy lurks a sense of melody, streaks of tempo changes and guitarist Mickey Neal’s metallic twist.
Produced by Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know (Gary Miller), Jaybird anchors the Token Entry rhythm section and inflates the overall sound. Most of the highlights are on Side One: the raging opener (“The Fire”), the infectious chants on “The Bright Side” and the guitars that spiral through “The Whip.” The flipside glides into a more basic rock groove with some psychedelics on “Pink Things” and the CD bonus track, an off-the-cuff cover of “Born to Be Wild.” Sticking with Dr. Know but debuting a new bassist and a different guitar player, Weight of the World adds a bit of Chili Peppers thrash-funk to Token Entry’s expanding stylistic repertoire.