Very Own Vegas
Baltimore’s sophisticated skanksters portray themselves as the Frank Sinatra’s of ska on their debut record, Very Own Vegas. Distinguished by a solid horn section that includes a woman on baritone sax, The Smooths merge elements of the currently popular dancehall/swing ska with the type of old school punk/ska hybrid done so well by Sublime. The result is a fresh sounding CD capturing the varied essences of ska music that will work its way closer to the top of your playlist with each successive spin. Shades of the early 80’s two tone movement show up on “Letter After J,” with it’s bursts of sweetly dissonant brass that recall the Selecter and The Specials, while “Enemy” features a Jamaican rap that was practically the signature of The English Beat’s Ranking Roger. The highlight of the collection is a tribute to the late Jack Lord (“Lord Jack”) that throws almost cartoonish musical motifs into a warm hearted remembrance of a pop culture legend. Invite a few friends over, break out the pizza and beer, flip Very Own Vegas in the player, and prepare to party. Don’t leave Las Vegas without it.