If you’ve ever wondered if you could mix smooth ska with brutal mathcore, the answer is fuckin yes!! Holy shit, this goes into the most interesting evolutions of ska list. The Best Of The Worst’s latest album Better Medicine. Another solid release from Bad Time Records. The sound is just fuckin insane, manic and beautiful. For me, it’s the most interesting band in ska since Blue Meanies. This is the new ska for the weird kids! I can’t pick a stand out as each track just has so much going on. If you need on music at all, play this one! Every bit of this from the vocals to the instrumentation is at the top of its game! They even have a gnarly fuckin 2Tone breakdown on one track and this whole record is full of gnarly breakdowns. So, figure out how to skank and hardcore dance at the same time for your new fitness regimen and blast this fucker till the paint melts from your walls! Stalk and support at the following links.
If you’ve been sleeping on this band, the alarm is goin off and it’s time to wake the fuck up. Kill Lincoln’s Can’t Complain should be in everyone’s list of most exciting ska or punk releases of the past year. The sound is No Torso’s horn section meets Catch 22 meets a bit of east coast emo with the energy of east coast basement hardcore. There’s even some sweet fuckin breakdowns. This band is helmed the Mike who also runs Bad Time Records. And all this amazing music is headed by solid vocals about real shit. Highlight track for me is Last Ditch Denial. If you’re getting old and still living in this scene, you’ll feel it in a bittersweet way. Get a hold of this and skank till ya knees give out and you’ve gotten a noise complaint! Stalk and support at the following links
For those who don’t know, there’s some amazing ska coming out. One of those is We Are The Union’s latest, Ordinary Life. The core of this album is vocalist Reade coming out as a trans woman bracketed by honest observations of mental health struggles a lot of us deal with. Everything on this album is fuckin amazing and Jer has the sickest Trombone solo on Morbid Obsessions, one of the highlight tracks on this. The other two are the Mad Caddies sounding Boys Will Be Girls and Make It Easy which sounds like Slackers meets Midwest Emo. Purely amazing music with Reade’s solidly pop punk vocals sweetening every track. We Are The Union is the ska punk for the current generation and everyone needs to jam it loud enough that your neighbors know the words. Support and stalk them at the following links
So this is a list of the 10 worst things I’ve drank and why. In the underground scene, most of us have done unhealthily questionable drinking. This came out of a conversation I had with Aaron Carne’s, the author of In Defense Of Ska since his book mentions Kool Colt 45.
#1 Camo Black. This stuff is like 13 percent malt liquor. It smells like a 7 11 dumpster and tastes homeless, I mean turning tricks in the gutter for crack and sleeping there after homeless.
#2 Night Train. Some jock yelled at me and I beat up his car while I was wasted on this. I wasn’t able to buy it in my town anymore.
#3 Kool Colt 45. It was a mentholated Colt 45. It was so bad!
#4 Aftershock. For years I would get sick at the smell or taste of cinnamon after the time I got trashed off this.
#5 The near and dear Red Dog. This was a strange blend of lager and malt liquor together for $1.35 a 40. I lived on it in highschool.
#6 Lost 5-0 screwdrivers. Lost 5-0 was an orange energy drink and vodka made me overly willing to start shit with Nazis and frat boys. So I was a hyper violent asshole.
#7 Sidewalk slammers. You drink a 40 a little more than half down and dump in a can of Four Loko. Yeah, that goes sideways real quick.
#8 Carlo Rossi. If you wanna feel like you’re gonna die from your hangover and watch your homie pass out in his own vomit after you’ve made complete asses of yourselves, this is the drink for you.
#9 Tequila. I would always travel and pass out in strange places like roofs, people’s front yards or my ex’s porch after slur yelling why we should get back together and it was a good 8 miles from where I started drinking.
#10 Any flavored malt liquor. Really just don’t unless you wanna feel like your skeleton is trying to escape while you vomit.
There’s a lot of discussion and questions concerning what is ska kids mean when we talk about waves in ska music. This isn’t meant to be THE answer on all that as there is much disagreement, th following is just my answer.
To start, ska has been existing and evolving since its inception in early 1960’s or late 1950’s Jamaica. The wave simply represents a period of time when the genre enjoyed extreme popularity and seeped into mainstream culture.
The first wave was from the early 60’s until around 66 came along. In 66 there was an extraordinarily hot summer in which the rudies couldn’t dance at the standard pace. So the music got slowed down and reggae came out of this. Reggae is also where to social change politics made their way into ska.
2nd wave was roughly 3 years in the UK when 2Tone happened. This was the first blending of punk and ska. Also you had The Clash who were thoroughly blurring those lines.
In the early 1980’s ska was building in America at a slow pace, but gaining popularity. The genre wasn’t dead as Dick Lucas (prior to Subhumans) had Culture Shock who were blending the Anarcho punk of the time with ska music. I mark the 3rd wave as starting in 87 with Operation Ivy. Though the mass popularity didn’t fully hit until around 95 when ska bands from all over the country started getting signed to Epitaph or major labels. They were gaining radio and MTV rotation. This was the Skaboom. Most of these bands were ska punk, basically the children of what Op Ivy did. This lasted until about 2000.
From 2000 till about 2018 we’d been in post wave. There’s been many amazing bands and evolutions in ska such as crack rock steady and some solid soul ska acts.
2018 through now is presently weird as we’re not sure if it’s a slight crest of the post wave, or if we’re coming into a true 4th wave. This is being led by Skatune Network and Bad Times Records. I know some people point to The Interrupters for this. Gonna say no there. They’re a great band, but what sounds like female fronted Rancid is neither innovative nor particularly interesting from a musical standpoint. Jer did a better cover of Bad Guy. Also, Aimee is not our ska queen. That’s Reade Wolcott from We Are The Union.
So those of us who were into ska in the early to mid 2000’s (I got into it in 1998 off of Bosstones Let’s Face It) have had to suffer through countless hipsters and supposed punks telling us we’re not cool. First off, who the fuck is cool in the underground scene? We’re all the weirdos, nerds and freaks to begin with, so spike your hair and check yourself. Next, fuck everyone one of those magazines. People who clearly can’t songwrite (why else are they music critics?) Have absolutely no business telling anyone what is or isn’t cool since they’re not creators. Ska is honestly the most interesting thing to happen to a guitar since Robert Johnson. Fuck old rock, that’s a bunch of white boys ripping off black artists. Ska started as the outlet for disparate people in Jamaica putting their on spin of mixing American R&B with Mento. In the UK it was the ultimate for black and white working class to come together. In America it’s an outlet for weird kids of all orientations to come together and have fun while thinking about more. Ska is the revolution we can dance to! And if you think ska is a goofy joke, you’re fuckin wrong. So pick up your head out of your ass and get over yourself. None of us are cool kids, or we wouldn’t be living those underground life.