New Jersey's Streetlight Manifesto deserves a couple of props. First, for still carrying the torch of third-wave ska as it was largely played at its tail end in the late 1990s: in a group of many, many musicians, and with a heavy punk edge. Second, for remaining pretty much the only one to do so on hardcore stalwart label Victory Records. That makes sense if you look at the band's pedigree, though. Its driving force is songwriter/frontman Tomas Kalnoky, who shored up the excellent Catch 22 back then, one of the few bands to successfully merge new ska with an almost-hardcore sensibility. (That band also continues to play, in somewhat reduced form, and with a sort of rivalry with Streetlight Manifesto.) Although the band is said to be working on an ambitious, quadruple-CD project called 99 Songs of Revolution, it continues to tour in support of its 2007 full-length, Somewhere in the Between.Playing in support are a few groups that span genres. The Massachusetts quintet A Wilhelm Scream plays melodic, hardcore-ish skate punk; Michigan quartet the Swellers aren't too far off but delve occasionally into '90-style, indie-rock-influenced patches. Finally, the Stitch Up is also a punk band but fronted by another legendary 1990s ska-punk figure: MU330's Dan Potthast.
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