Ska: The Third Wave
by SHrude Boy
Step! Step! Step! Yes, a compilation of 14 of today’s skankin’ faves. Dancing circles around the K-tel’s of our youth and mail-order Guitar Rock nostalgia for dorks, The Third Wave of ska seems to have it all: Sexy instrumentals, big band, and street punk, rude music for rude boys and girls, and a whole lotta skankin’ going on. Logging in at just shy of 47 minutes, let’s do a little steppin’.
Methiskapheles jumpstarts the mayhem with a little “Doomsday” bop and returns later with a touching, coffeehouse love ballad. “Saba,” the later song, starts as a heartfelt reggae ditty but then leaps into a zippy, horn-drenched crowd-pleaser guaranteed to get those feet moving. Mustard Plug rips through their snarling rude boy, “Too Stoopid,” and shake their bums at the Dum Dums. Dance Hall Crashers are up next and shake their rude girl bums right back. With their double dishing of vocal harmonies, these gals rock with “Othello.” The Insteps step in smoothly with the gangsta tale of “Shotgun Jimmy.” The Scofflaws swing in for a little ’50s-style twirling “After the Lights Go Down Low.” Imagine Brian Setzer doing a little cuddling ska and jamming in some fat horns and cherry organ. It’s light years beyond skimpy “William Shatner.” While the song has tasty rolling bass and outrageous horns and sax, it’s about the self-indulgent superdork. A zippy tune about cheese wiz. Next up are those sexy Pietasters. Their instrumental, “Factory Concerto (Remix),” has those rolling toms and snarling horn of old surfy TV themes. Their second tune, “Night Before,” is a little romantic ditty that makes you feel all warm inside.
Skavoovie and the Epitones waltz in next and lay down a jazzy big band instrumental, “Hi-ball,” that’ll make you grab the cat or kitty nearest you and tour the floor. A little samba ska in a tall glass, please. The Toasters waste no time in getting those itchy feet a-moving. “Dub 56 (Remix)” gets the rolling vocal running (doesn’t he breathe?) and the horns dripping in wherever they get the change. Fat bass and keys throb along and let those skankin’ feet do their thing. This extended mix will leave you breathless. MU330 rip out the rascally rude boy “Stuff” with a punky zest and swinging horn section. A peppy little pleaser about getting naked with a tasty young thang. This is a catchy sing-a-long, but don’t use it as a serenade unless you want your rude boy balls busted. Ruder Than You check in for a political stab with “Swallow Blood.” While the chorus will move your feet with their high steppin’ slow ska, it’s borderline reggae. Marley (Bob, not Ziggy) did it better a long time ago. The Toasters check back in to share “Little Hidden Secrets.” Ska is no longer a secret; it’s a thriving movement of happy feet. As long as the CDs keep coming in and the clubs keep booking the bands, my skankin’ feet will keep steppin’.