Yeah, fuck Stza as a person, a crew, record label and overall organization. So after he abused Whitney of Days N Daze and releasing a fucking still birth of an album. Even by punk standards, Stza is a shit writer. Looking at Morning Glory, we can tell who the good writer was. He’s getting ready to do a Star Fucking Hipsters tour. But where’s Nico? She quit after Stza hit her in the face. Whitney posts calling out Stza and a former friend of hers. This is a sensible thing to do. In response Stza posts this weird shit somehow linking Whitney to Erik Peterson’s passing. Other than the deflection l, there’s the fact that Mischief Brew and Days N Daze weren’t exactly connected. They were still gaining steam of Rogue Taxidermy when Peterson died. This is 2 different eras and region of the folk punk scene. It sucks that Stza’s art has been dramatically important to the underground scene, but he’s gotta go. Ska punk and crust existed before him and Crack Rock Steady will continue exist after him. In conclusion, fuck Stza and fuck anyone who still backs him. Another problem is that Stza’s music is entrenched in the more conscious side of punk and his endless bullshit makes a mockery of the ideas and ethos.
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
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.
Recently the New Orleans New Tone pioneers Bad Operation dropped their debut on Bad Time Records. Wtf is New Tone? Well, take the political forefront of 2 Tone and it’s smoothed out stylings then add some modern ska punk to it. Think Specials meets Big D and The Kid’s Table. Holy checkers is this album fucking amazing! If you consider yourself ska, rude or just ska curious then Bad Operation is what you need in life! Right from track 1 this gets you moving and thinking. My standouts on this are the title track and Siren’s call. Evidence that ska is the revolution you can dance too. Get ahold of those now. Blast it loud enough to freak out your neighbors and dance till you’re in fighting shape!
The first new album in 15 years from ska punk powerhouse Suicide Machines dropped on Friday! It’s really fuckin good! Been stoked on the single Awkward Always which is a solid ska track takin me back to the 90’s. Yet again these guys are one of the bands who most remind me of Op Ivy because it’s ska punk with a message. There’s a few straight punk (not ska at all) tracks that are fuckin gnarly. My stand out track is Babylon of Ours, just a message and organ driven ska banger. I can’t wait till there’s a record store open to buy a copy. Note to future readers: March through April 2020 we’re on lockdown for a pandemic but at least there’s great music to soundtrack the real time societal collapse. So stream this shit loud and hopefully we all make it till we can see em tour
Tellin ya bout an awesome local record store. Toxic Toast in Long Beach, CA. They sell an amazing amount of punk and ska vynil. The store also specializes in rare and first pressings, particularly Japanese. Owner Andy actually takes a couple painstaking trips each year to Japan to dig up good shit. Also they have some amazing pins. And not living local is no excuse to not check em out. They have a website, Facebook and Instagram.