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May 23, 2024

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The Skoidats
The Times (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Skoidats are a six piece ska/oi! band from Missoula, Montana. Their blend of ska/oi! draws from their traditional ska and oi! influences, as well as their diverse jazz and punk influences.

"Skaturday Skins" hits you with a blow, kicking the CD off with a tremendous bang. The vocals are rough, just like you'd expect from an oi! band, and the beats go from powerful to gentle and danceable. The horns are tight and soothing, while the guitar goes from very skankable beats to powerful oi! screams. The hard hitting drums keep the beat nicely, and the bassist thumps along throughout the song. Just from this one track you can tell your in for an adventure. "Whirlwind" calms the pace down a bit, serving up a juicy instrumental. The horns are the leader in this song, while the rest of the band follows. The horns are so warm and inviting, you can't help but fall in love with them. The drums pound away, as the guitar plays some nice, skankable beats sure to please any fan of ska. Although this song draws heavily on the bands traditional influences, they add a hard 90's kick to the song, and speed things up a bit. One thing is for sure, you'll be dancing all the way through this song. "Last Night" hits you hard with an oi! intro, and then kicks in with the ska beats that will start you dancing and smiling. The horns flare in the background throughout the ska and oi! parts, but when the ska beats come out the horns come alive and steal the show. "Moonstomp '97" is hands down a traditional ska track. The horns will overpower you and put a smile on your face. All your troubles will go away, and you'll feel very relaxed and happy. Not a care in the world. Everything fits in nicely with the other, and the flow of the song is very elegant. "Goggles & Blinders" kicks it off with a heavy bass line, which I am very fond of. It takes a trip through some straight oi!, and then everybody jumps right into some ska which could be mistaken for third-wave ska-pop up until the point when the vocals enter. The guitar is very strong, and as always, so are the horns. The song ends it with all oi!, no ska. The dancing will stop, which is a little disappointing. "Yesterday" also kicks it off with only bass, which I truly love. Then the band jumps right into the ska beats which will run through your veins and make your body jump into a fast, skankin' frenzy. The band will take time out to show it's heavy oi! roots, which really takes a lot out of your dance, but you can always count on them switching back to some generous beats that will make you dance up a storm. "Beer, Beer, Beer" closes out the CD with some disappointment. Much like you'd find at an Irish pub while everyone gulps down their beer, All these voices go crazy and all sing at once, while you can hear the clinging of beer mugs in the background. The music isn't bad, but the numerous voices ruins the song completely. They may have had fun creating the song, but it's really annoying to listen too. Good thing it's at the end of the CD, you can skip it, and jump right back to track one. But then again, if you do that you'll miss the hidden "goodies."

The Skoidats can make you dance and smile when they want to, or go right into some oi! or punk rock and make you want to slam and mosh when they feel the urge. This is the sign of a very versatile band, who has the talent to go very far up the ska ladder. If your into oi! as well as ska, pick up this CD and see how well they combine both musical forms, as well as draw on other musical influences. I'll give this CD a B+.

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