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November 20, 2017


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Punk Goes Ska
Stiff Dog Records

By: Alex Steininger

Ska is no longer for the rudies! Punks have joined in with the skankin' beats of ska and adopted it into their music. Of course time played a hand too. Over a period of time music will always evolve. And Stiff Dog Records is the record label that brings you this compilation containing twenty-eight up-and-coming ska-punk bands!

The CD starts off with The Hippos "Irie." A pop/punk/ska style sure to drive you crazy. From the excellent horn section to the hooks, there is a lot here to sink your teeth into. Juicy hooks and catchy beats all plentiful when you are talking about The Hippos. Track three, Slapsticks' "Good Times Gone," offer a nice mix of fast punk and energetic ska beats combined with some loud horns! And a band you will be hearing a lot about in the coming months, Save Ferris, contributes their ska/pop/swing "The World Is New." Fast paced ska guitar, beautiful female vocals, and solid horns give this band a terrific sound sure to make you dance from beginning to end. Turkey Mallet serves up a plateful of great third-wave ska. The medium-paced ska guitar will make you dance for sure. And the horns will add an extra step in your swing. And you will move to the music. The song is that powerful. Supermarket All-Stars' "Met You On The Corner" starts out with a blizzard of horns, and then snarl tinted vocals enter in. In some parts the horns drown out the band, and when the horns aren't going off at full speed they play well with the guitar, bass, and drums to formulate a nice blend. But, the best part of the song is when the horn section gives it all it's got. Link 80 serves up "Verbal Kint," and their blend of hardcore/punk/ska. Powerful vocals, a full sounding horn section, and a chorus that is fast and furious make this one of the best tracks on the album. "Show Hall Bound" by the Readymen offers snarling vocals combined with punk-ska memorable of Operation Ivy. Ska guitar that quickly morphs into loud punk is a common finding on this song. Red Session contributes "Ed," a terrific blend of punk and ska at the same time. Punk-like vocals add a spicy touch to the song, as do the horns. Mealticket offers an energetic splash with "No Message Here." Fantastic punk-ska with female vocals that will just fill you up with so much joy. Lone Raspberry fines up the twenty-eight tracks with their song, "Punk Goes Ska." And it lives up to it's name. Tight punk-ska with a few additions thrown in here and there. And what's more they have a female vocalist, and I love female vocals. They are a terrific ending to a great compilation.

With so much going on in the punk and ska circles, this compilation does a great job of combining the two art forms. This CD brings you twenty-eight tracks for twenty-eight great artists, the only question that will pop up in your mind after you purchase this CD is "which song is my favorite?" A definite A, with seventy-six non-stop minutes of fast, upbeat ska!

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