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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hub City Stompers- Ska Ska Black Sheep review

Hub City Stompers- Ska Ska Black Sheep album review

With a heavy background in Oi! (Steel Toe Solution) and third wave ska (Inspecter 7), the frontman for Hub City Stompers is enough of a force to catch my attention. On top of that, Hub City Stompers have a strong following and two previous albums to stand on. The band had walked the walk before; could they pull it off again with a decent third album? This is where ska tends to differ from punk; ska can stay fresh and flavorful up to and beyond a third album, and punk has a harder time with that (harder, not impossible). I would soon see if these guys could muster something good out of an old and aging genre…

The majority of this album is not at all disappointing; there’s an Oi!-mixed-with-traditional 2-Tone feel to most of the songs, playing the reggae origins of ska up more than the punk origins. The lyrics are interestingly down-to-earth; most third wave isn’t at all relatable or it’s not relevant at all. This album is a working-class production, without a doubt. “New Tattoo”, “Tip Your Bartender”, and “Chatterdub” all deal with real proletariat, lower-class swine problems. There’s no replacement for genuine lyrics, not even Yakety Sax or anything off of the second side of “Family Man”. The singer sounds like he looks, a Jamaican-voiced, shaved-headed, mean-looking motherfucker with a real singing voice. The rhythm section is pretty good; it’s excellent to hear a band return to 2-Tone and make it listenable. Ska doesn’t have to be fast to be good, in other words. The only horn, a saxophone, cruises along to the rhythm, bouncing its baritone beats to the tune of working-class ska, standing alone and proud, working its sole-horn status very much to its advantage.

If you like 2-Tone, Oi!, or have a moderately respectable taste in music, you will at least appreciate this album, even if you don’t enjoy it (I don’t know why you wouldn’t!). You might also like it and look at it as a trend-setter of sorts, because the rise and fall of the third wave is just about complete. At least two good things have come out of New Jersey now; I’m sure it’s hospitable for travel, in between all the guidos.

-Aunty Social

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