I am not a music writer. So excuse me as I say different variations on I Like It. Also check out my very long games of 2022 and my top songs list, which if I mention it here is not there and vice versa. Turns out I listened to a lot of ska!
Youtube Playlist Here
Eichlers “My Checkered Future” (2022)
What a refreshing take on ska. Eichlers takes something I am very familiar with (3rd Wave Ska) and mixes it with their other interest (Souncloud Emo Rap.) It has a wonderful unique flavor. It follows the modern movement in ska/punk. It is in fact time to talk about our feelings.
Standout Track: “Things U C in Me”
Los Kenya “Siempre Afro-Latino”
Listen to those horns! Danced a lot with my kid to this album.
Standout Track: “Santa Elena”
ORESKABAND “Bohemia” (2022)
What I have always admired about ORESKABAND is they have consistently become better song writers. Every album has seen them evolve. I also get to nervously laugh and say “look here’s one all-female ska band.” Uplifting music that reminds me the sun rises.
Standout Track: “Arco”
The Walkman “Complete Recordings”
I got as much information as that blogpost has about this. White boy ska-reggae with that perfect 80s pop polish.
Standout Track: “Jump Jump”
AFI “Bodies” (2021)
After falling off the AFI train that I was only on for one album, 2003’s Sing The Sorrow, had a great time catching up here. Best described by my uninformed self as “goth rock, for adults”. You get disenfranchisement with California, with relationships, with self.
Standout Track: “No Eyes”
Punk Interview Podcasts
This isn’t an album! But wait, thanks to listening to interviews with the punk rock heroes I grew up with I found out about so many bands I didn’t listen to. Thanks My First Band and Turned Out a Punk ! For a few years now I’d been trying to track down the screamo so popular in central Texas in the early 2000s. Maybe it didn’t go out so far, and searching screamo on the internet just gives Panic! At the Disco which I scream “No! That’s not screamo you cretins!” Then the host of Turned Out a Punk mentioned Orchid. Ah there it is.
That screamo is not something that I can listen to in large bursts, but as I enter middle age I drag my mind to things I had encountered. I went to several shows hoping to find pop-punk and ska (absolutely not lol). Instead there was this two minute screaming hardcore where every song is the same. The crowd didn’t want to circle pit so much as try to jump kick you in the head. Even as a youth I was too old and too tired for that. But I wanted to use bands that did this as a pull in conversation. Now I can say something like Joshua Fit For Battle or The Number Twelve Looks Like You .
The podcasts opened me to All, The Violent Femmes, Dag Nasty. It made me reexamine Bad Religion and Rancid. It gave me context for the albums I actually love and why I love them. It didn’t change my biases but justified them.
As a kid who found punk on Napster and typing in tshirts I saw in middle school, it captured that feeling. I was a tiny nerd uninterested in drugs or alcohol. I wasn’t going to actually hang out with the actual punks. I found it all the same. Nor would I ever fall in to Straight-Edge crowd. It felt like a cult. It probably was. So I was and remain this middle space of a well-to-do nerdo that loves Punk and Ska. A lot of that early punk is about being in a broken society and worried if you are gonna die from heroin overdose. Glad that wasn’t my life, and I mourn for those it was/is.
It also let me know that I absolutely do not like music as much as video games. I don’t like anything as much as I like video games.
Standout Track: “Turned Out A Punk interview with MXPX”
Touche Amoure “Stage Four”
I almost forgot about this album. Glad I didn’t. It is a brutal album about dealing with a parent dying of cancer. I could only listen to it once or twice, but identified with all the feelings present within.
The Bruce Lee Band “Two Steps Forward One Step Back”
What a fantastic year for Mike Park, patron godfather of ska, releasing a great new album with The Bruce Lee Band. The Bruce Lee Band in its current form is itself a superstar pile of ska legends.
Standout Track: “Did you find the Money Farm?”
The Holophonics “MaSKArades Vol. 17: Donkey SKAng Country”
While I have just gotten their ambitious original album Lavos, I’ve been spinning The Holophonics cover album of Donkey Kong Country songs for months. I am not even a big DKC soundtrack fan. But Texas Ska Band releases a cover of Video Game Music on Vinyl there are like…500 people on Earth that is for. Who else if me.
Turns out it has been great background music when the rare chance I’ve had a friend over. And the friend always points at it and goes “that’s pretty good.”
Standout Track: “Fear Factory”
The Wonder Years “The Hum Goes on Forever”
Already wrote a review of this one. As a Dad looking at the world and trying not lose it. As one reflecting on the family tragedies in quiet moments. As someone that also like catchy anthem-pop punk. This one has remained on repeat as singles came out and to this day. I just want to tell the people I love them while I still can.
Standout Track: “Low Tide”
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