Dig the New Breed of Ska

Dig the New Breed of Ska

Various

Triple X

Somewhat anemic overview of the current British ska scene. When one of the highlights of your comp is a Madness tribute band (One Step Behind), and you could only find 10 bands in all (each gets two tracks), you have to wonder if there was even enough of a scene to warrant a document. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff here — the Hotknives’ two tracks, “Always Tomorrow” and “Driving Me Mad,” shine like diamonds in the rough, for example — but most of the remaining tracks are either watered-down 2-Tone or watered-down ska-punk. Exceptions include the tasty trad of Intensified’s “Bad Man’s River”, the catchy “Do It” from the Xplosions, and Too Many Crooks’ Elvis Costello-informed “Hearts Cruel Lesson.” Most of the rest of this record just doesn’t stand up to repeated listens, for me. I’d be interested in revisiting almost all of these bands a few years down the line, though — I’m betting that some of them will grow to be quite interesting…

Triple X Records, PO Box 862529, Los Angeles, CA 90086-2529, www.triple-x.com

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