The W's was a Christian swing-ska band formed in Eugene, Oregon back in the early 90's. The band consisted of 6 members.

Andrew (Little A)Schar: lead vocalist, guitar

Todd (Rodd) Rundgren: bass

Valentine (Valentino) Hellman: tenor sax, clarinet

Brett (Smiley) Barker: trumpet

James (Yabbo) Carter: alto sax, background vocals

The drummers were the only band members who ever changed. Before the band was signed to 5 Minute Walk Records in 1997, they went through 3 different drummers before taking on Brian Morris.

The band's roster stayed solid through their only two widely released records, which were cleverly titled Fourth From The Last(1998), and Trouble With X(1999). In autumn 1999 Brian broke his arm and they took on another drummer.

The band stayed together until Christmas season, 1999. By then they were planning a third release, and had already released a single, 'Somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea', which was featured on 5 Minute Walk's Take Time To Listen Sampler no.5. However, Andrew, the guitarist, had gotten married between the release of their two albums, and two of the other band members were engaged.

The demands of family life, the decline in popularity of the ska genre and the changing of the gaurd led to an unfortunate, but inevitable breakup.


Fourth From The Last

1.Open Minded, 2.The Devil is Bad, 3.Frank, 4.J.P., 5.Moses, 6.Pup, 7.King of Polyester, 8.Jason E, 9.Alarm Clock, 10.Flower Tattoo, 11.Dexter, 12.Hui; also included is a hidden track titled Five Iron Frenzy, which is The W's homage to the Denver, Colorado band.

The song is sung by Valentine Hellman, and if you listen to it you'll immediately know why he is not the band's vocalist. One of the times I was fortunate enough to see them in concert they used a cheap keyboard synthesizer for the background vocals which made it sound even worse; a feat I didn't think possible.

Trouble With X

1.Rather Be Dead, 2. Saturday, 3.Bully Go Home, 4.Country Roads (cover of the old John Denver song), 5.Hit 'em Where it Hurts, 6.Play the Game, 7.Stupid, 8.Tip From Me, 9.Where Should I Go, 10.Used Car Salesmen, 11.Nothing, 12.101, 13.Chump, 14.Two More Weeks to Go, 15.The Rumor Weed Song (recorded for the VeggieTales episode: Larry Boy and the rumor weed; also included is a hidden track of some guy trying to sing along to Play the Game (track 6).