Do you long for the golden age of pop-punk-with-horns otherwise known as the 1990s? Of course you do! Everybody loves the '90s!
Can you think of a better way to express your deepest nostalgia for the blowjob-laden Clinton Era than by celebrating one of the decade's biggest reggae-rockers, Sublime? You'll have an opportunity to do just that next Wednesday at Revolution's "Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime."
Sublime didn't exist in a vacuum, however. Oh, no. Alongside No Doubt, the trio were crossover alums from a West Coast-originated, nationally-brewing "Third Wave" of ska that dared to pair pop-punk with Island music's spunky kid brother.
Check the jump for complete details on "Badfish" and County Grind's Top 10 third wave ska bands of all time.
10. Save Ferris
This septet sounds like No Doubt if Gwen Stefani (and those other dudes) had stayed the course on the two-tone brick road until they finally met the Wizard of Ska. And they look like the cast of Friends if they'd started a band with a horn section, subsequently lost most of their female cast, replaced them with grown men frozen in metaphorical carbonite as high school band dorks, and moved to Orange County. Much like Alien Ant Farm, their big hit was a should-have-been-ironic cover of a song from the '80s.
9. The Suicide Machines
The term "ska-core" denotes a punk/hardcore edge. Bands like the Suicide Machines play off fast and loud dynamics by using horn sections and metallicized reggae breakdowns to offset snotty, sneering skate punk. Like many of the rock-inclined ska groups of the '90s, The Machines went on to abandon wind instruments altogether.
8. Against All Authority
Speaking of ska-core, few bands did it better than Miami's own 18th best band ever, Against All Authority. In the latter era, they parred down to a lone trumpet -- a former member of Kendall ska-punk heavyweights the Fundamentals, BTW -- but guitarist Danny Lore and bassist Joe Koontz never strayed from blurringly-fast insta-pit ragers and heavy, skank-mosh interludes and crescendos.
7. Reel Big Fish
Oh boy. What dimension were these dudes from? The answer seems to be California, but you can't tell us everybody on the left coast dresses like these freaks. Reel Big Fish come from a sad, sonically inbred tradition rooted in ska-punk's secession from a larger punk context (in which it was already more-than-kind-of questionable). The whole mess turned into a weird universe filled with fuzzy dice and the cornball equivalent to the Dave Matthews Band, Bro. But that's another list entirely.
This veritable marching band hovered over the line that separated the Reel Big Fishes from the Suicide Machineses. They were corny ska dudes. But they also knew how to brew a mean skank pit. Plus, original Catch-22 songwriter, and lead Streetlight Manifesto dude, Tomas Kanolky introduced a wild card element with his hydraheaded DIY side projects and teenaged cult of personality.
5. Link 80
We didn't rep Against All Authority earlier because they're from Miami. We did it because they fucking shredded! As further evidence that we're not playing favorites, we'd like to point out that Kalifornya's Link 80 were maybe the finest outfit to add "core" to the end of ska. Frenzied punk rock riffage? Check. Snot vocals? Check. Chankity-chank guitar? But of course. But these guys also infused their horn lines with Latin horns and their vocal delivery was influenced by hip-hop.
4. Less Than Jake
These days, if you stop by the No Idea warehouse in Gainesville, you'll see a landfill's worth of Against Me! T-shirts. But you know a decade or two back it was all Hello Rockview beer coozies. One day, County Grind is going to make a YouTube testimonial video where we "um" and "like" and, "y'know?" our way through an explanation of how the Sunshine State's quintessential pop-punk-with-horns band is partially responsible for Florida punk moving out of the super-rare-and-exclusive realm of Killed By Death compilations and into a bonafide scene plugged into other networks outside of itself. Never underestimate the Less Than Jake trickle down.
3. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Reel Big Fish's aspirations to "Sell Out" produced moderate success. But the Bosstones cashed in harder than anybody. In fact, Dickey Barrett's biggest cha-ching moment -- the Mighty Mighty cameo in 1995's Clueless -- will likely end up being the definitive moment of the third wave at the peak of pop culture relevancy.
2. Operation Ivy
Behold! The first band to fuse pop-punk and ska! From the loins of this late-'80s Gilman Street regular descended the whole history of ska-core as we know it. This legendary outfit spawned mall punk heavyweights, Rancid, and an entire mythology obsessed over by teenage skankaroos worldwide.
The Clash and Bad Brains wrote reggae songs, and, from inception, The Punk was a clear descendent of The Rude Boy. Op Ivy were the spark that lit the fuse that burned until the Third Wave erupted like a tremendously ejaculating volcano. However, mid-'80s party animals Fishbone were the first to play both genres at the same time.
Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime. With Scotty Don't at 8 p.m. on October 24 at Revolution Live. 100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit Jointherevolution.net.
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