Ska-Line A Round Up of The Global Ska Scene 9th May 2021
Yes, yes, yes! Here we go people – almost a third of the way through May and on the back of a MASSIVE Bandcamp Friday!
TOP news has to be the eagerly awaited Mighty Mighty BossTones follow up to 2018’s While We’re At It – When God Was Great. While We’re At It was okay but… 3 years maturity (even though they formed in ’83) some amazing stimulus to write about -11 albums in and I’d say that this is their best yet! We were exposed to a couple of singles (The Killing of Georgie and The Final Parade) which hinted at the new direction but the top of the crop for us is You Had To Be There. An absolute ripper of a track about the importance of being at events and witnessing stuff first hand. This will be revered as a classic album.
Paul Willo (The Skapones / Specialized) is no stranger to Button Down Radio and he has teamed up with Andrés Cotter and Chuzz (Cartoon Violence) to produce a cracker of a 2-Tone influenced single entitled Ska Revolution. Willo’s voice is instantly recognisable and great to hear Chuzz on organ (so used to hear him tinkling the ivories). Very Skapones in its song structure and so uplifting.
The Operators outta Indianapolis have a new one track single out called New Place and it is bang on. An up tempo little ditty with a belter of a chorus. Really different sound from these guys which we love.
Off to Argentina via Coventry next. Kato Ska have a new single out entitled Blah Blah. It kicks off with the traditional toasting of Neville Staple before launching into a light, bouncing ska tune. Nothing but pure, unadulterated ska fun.
Switzerland or The Swiss Frederation next for the greatest modern traditional ska band outta the Alps - Sir Jay and the Skatanauts with their new 2 track single Later Than Sooner / Swiss Ska Fever on Tip-A-Top records. Two super catchy trad ska tunes with that bouncing rhythm and big band feel. Big hint of the Skatalites on Swiss Ska Fever. Massively infectious it is too.
New to us Something To Do dropped a new single – This Year Has Been a Kick In The Nuts. And it has! A rock n ska tune with big choruses, beefy horns and a pulsing guitar lick to get you going. Will keep an eye on these humans!
The Sensibles are a female fronted ska based band operating out of East Florida and dropped their second album – Nuclear Paradise - last Tuesday. 8 tracks of meaty tunes with the horn section very much to the fore. Veterans of 3 EPs and an album released two years ago, this crew a refreshing sound that would be great to catch live. From Super Sonic Skanking Zombies to Cheap Dates it’s a well carried out album with something for almost everyone.
The Ska-core Cartel is a super cool collective operating in the States releasing cool ska vibes and supporting charities. Their new single includes members of Flying Raccoon Suit, Matamoska and The Steadians and is a cover of Fugazi’s I’m So Tired (originally on Instrument Soundtrack) being a massive Fugazi fan, it’s dope to hear a ska’d down version. I say Ska’d down as it is a slow piece but not rocksteady. I can only call it slow ska? Chilled and nothing but good vibes.
Check the new SC version at https://theskacorecartel.bandcamp.com/track/im-so-tired
then check the hauntingly beautiful Fugazi original
An absolute cornerstone of the ska community is Jump Up Records and they have released their new label sampler entitled We Do The Ska Vol 3. It is outstanding (and free!) including tracks from Bim Skala Bim, Out of Control Army, Boomtown United, King Kong 4, Mr Kingpin, Mark Foggo’s Skasters, Half Past Two, The Prizefighters and more including… THE BAKESYS! More on that in a mo. Get your download from https://www.jumpuprecords.com/wedotheska/
CD copies will be included with new vinyl orders. Given the ridiculous costs of postage currently, Chuck (owner) is really looking after us as he has a deal where if you buy 3 LPs then worldwide is only $10 US. WOW!
Now… about The Bakesys… they’ve only gone and done a deal with Jump Up to release their new album! Really chuffed for the guys – that’s a massive coup. Well done lads.
In Button Down Radio news - we once again have an Alexa skill available from https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09441LLBW/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=button%20down%20radio&qid=1620166405&s=digital-skills&sr=1-1 You need to get it from the store and enable the skill. Then say 'Alexa - play Button Down Radio' and sunshine from your speakers!
Check most of this stuff out on our twice daily Featured This Week sessions
Check out our Bandcamp collection at https://bandcamp.com/buttondownradio
Check out the best of this year's ska vids at - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmpaxFQpPPFyuFitZ2sjNGhGiYooA-Pen
OOOH and download our Android app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.buttondown
And whatever you do... KEEP SKANKING and listening to Button Down Radio
Mighty Mighty Bosstones Andrés Cotter Kato Ska The Operators Sir Jay and the Skatanauts The Sensibles Skacore Cartel Flying Raccoon Suit, Matamoska and The Steadians Bim Skala Bim, Out of Control Army, Boomtown United, King Kong 4, Mr Kingpin, Mark Foggo’s Skasters, Half Past Two, The Prizefighters The Bakesys Jump Up Records Paul Willo Jason 'Chuzz' Childs