The Shack

The Shack

Vol. 2: Club Ska ’99


The first installment in this pair (I’d hate to jinx things by wishing for more) was the equivalent of opening a window in a stuffy, unoccupied beach cottage. It must have been ’94 or ’95 — sure, I knew about the Toasters, and

Club Ska ’99 neatly milestones the surge of ska that the last few years has seen. “New kids” like Dr. Ring-Ding and Mento Buru hold their own against giants like the Skatalites, Bim Skala Bim, and the Toasters. The Porkers proudly proclaim their love of drink in “Alcohol,” while International Beat tackle the popular “The Fits.” Ngobo Ngobo delight with “Mr. D,” a wanderer’s conversation set to music. The Allstonians’ wild and jazzy rendition of “Makin’ Whoopee” should be played at every wedding. And what can I say, nobody has made light of incest and infidelity with as much fun as Skanga on their rave-up of the traditional “Shame and Scandal,” itself bookending the collection as an original and a slight return.

Every time I find myself become jaded and bored with a particular genre, some record comes around and knocks me flat on my ass — and I’m grateful for the beating The Shack II has given me.

Bib Records, P.O. Box 441606, Somerville, MA 02144

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