Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best ska of 2017

This past year wasn't really a great year for ska as far as the number of releases but there were some great ones. It seems everybody slowed down and, instead of playing ska, they switched it up to reggae. Not that I don't like reggae but there was just too much of it. My list here is mostly reggae-free.

There are some notable exceptions I left off of the list because of the aforementioned "no reggae" but I want to add that I think King Kong 4 is an incredible band. They put out lots of great music in 2017.
So did Susan Cadogan.

The Phonosonics, The Erin Bardwell Collective, and New Limits also put out some awesome releases and I really loved The Stiff Joints debut album.

 The veterans The Selecter, Save Ferris, and the Busters also had new releases but I like to to draw attention to bands you may not know as well as these. You'll buy their stuff anyway.

And you know how I like it when bands with older rare music make those releases available. 2017 saw old material from the Bakesys as well as the first two demos from Napoleon Solo re-released - available at Jump Up Records. The Napoleon Solo record is limited to 100 copies so you might want to jump on that one.

In 2017 The Kingpins re-released their classic album "Let's Go to Work" entitled "Let's Go Back to Work". It is a re-imagining of the album which includes some remixes and alternate versions with some additional previously unreleased tracks.

A band I posted a lot about over the years was the 80s Swedish band T-Shirts. They had several EPs and singles and one full-length throughout 1980, 1981, and 1982 and then they broke up. There was nothing else from them until 2017. They recorded a 2-track 7" called "To My Love/Legal Rights" and it's actually really good.

 When these old bands get together again after all these years and try to record new material it doesn't always work out too well but this one does. It sounds like the same band from 35 years ago.

There were two debut full-length albums that I was really looking forward to. One was a really good album - Heavyball's  "When Can You Start?". The other one was terrible. I try not so say anything bad about bands on this blog so I won't say their name. I can't imagine what possesses a talented band to compose an album's worth of songs, then take the time and expense to record an incredible ska album, then, before releasing it to the fans, they put an electronic beat over every song. Not one or even a few songs, but every damn song. My most anticipated release of 2017 was the absolute worst "ska" album I heard all year. How is it that not one person in that band stopped and said "this isn't really what the fans want"?

But here's the stuff I do like:

1. Last Edition - Last Orders

2. The Skalps - Plastic Fantastic

3. The Equators - Bed of Roses  (If I had to pick one song as my absolute favorite for the year it would be this)

4. Launchers - Dutty Mouth

5. Vegetable Collective - Penny (there is no video for this song but I love their video for the song Urban Squirrel)

6. The Breachers - Because of You

7. Interskalactic - Clad in Gold

8.  Mr. Wallace - Too Rude

9. The Funaddicts - All The Same

10. Heavyball - Top of Your Game

11. Moonhead Project (featuring Dani Radic) - On the Dancefloor

12. Death of Guitar Pop - Whatever Gets You Outta the House

13. And the Wasters - Lion's Share

14. Mercurius Rising - Old Blind Woman

15. Arthur and the Spooners - Going Down

16. Bombflower - Quit That Kind

17. The Crashmats - Watchmen

18. After the Ibis - Sober (if it wasn't for the Equators this would have been my pick for favorite song of the year.)

19. Chalk Outlines - Let the Feeling Show

20. Soundabout - Blizzard

21. Shoot the Moon - Can You Hear Me Now?

22. Archaic 3 - Focus on Me

23. The Big Takeover - Rubber Biscuit

24. Johnny Reggae Rub Foundation - I Can Tell You

25. Contra Fools - Geen Zin


 - Zippyshare



Paul Good said...

some great stuff on the list Jason

Already been and bought last edition , after the ibis, also death to guitar pop, already had the skalps and interskalatic will get round to the rest later.

Linneman said...

Thank you for this! Can't wait to wade through the songs I haven't heard. It's a lot harder these days for me to keep up with new stuff I might like!

(I am a little surprised to see no mention of the Delirians! Maybe they fit the mold of being too slow for consideration, but their song "You Don't Love Me (Like I Do)" was probably my favorite I heard this year...)