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.
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.
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
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.)