Should We Come Up With a Better Name For Third Wave Ska?

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Reel Big Fish: Is "ska" the right word for what these guys do?
See also: Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto Rocked the Marquee Last Night
See also: Reel Big Fish's Marquee Gig Was Fantastic...If You Were Under 25

I won't beat around the bush: I don't really like the music of Reel Big Fish. I don't like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones either, and found No Doubt a giggly waste of my time. In fact, while as a music critic I respect these bands for what they are trying to accomplish and the fact that they all have ardent fan bases, I find these and most other the so-called "Third Wave Ska" bands belittling to the original ska concept.

Ska shouldn't even be part of the movement's name. "Horn punk" is more what I think of when these bands roll around with their aggressive styles. Look back to the genre's roots, and you'll find ska was never intended to be a brash, loud, and in-your-face music.

While tracks like Desmond Dekker's "Shanty Town" could be somewhat rowdy, most original ska (never call it first wave) was laidback and groovin' with a bubbly undercurrent. The horns might pop on occasion, but that was more a nod to rhythm and blues as accentuation, and never grandstanding. Generally the music was more subdued, and frequently instrumental. And the guitars typically existed not to lead and scream and provoke, but simply provide the riddim and set the pace.

Ska is a predecessor to reggae and originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It was an integration of numerous musical styles: Native mento and bluebeat, and American idioms like rhythm and blues, swing jazz, and jump blues. This stylistic conglomeration, with plenty of tweaking, was manipulated into the island beat and brought an important change to shifting musical landscape, namely ska, dubbed such for the genre's founding fathers The Skatalites. The music adopted a happy, carefree style, avoiding (for the most part) politics for songs about love, romance and island life.

More of this: Less of this:
So how did we come to this, these generally aggressive Third Wave Ska'ers? Blame it on the punks.

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7 comments
tokyo_chaser
tokyo_chaser

Writing off a whole genre of music is exactly what being a music reviewer is all about right?  I mean don't listen to the band, or what they have to offer...just judge them based on their style of music; it's all the same.  If you had seen any of these bands live, you would have some respect. If not, you know nothing of music.

 

Also, we should stop calling rock music rock.  Rock music today sounds nothing like the rock music from the 50's, 60's, 70's.  I mean music genres and labels have to stay exactly the same and never progress.  A music style MUST stay stagnant. For example, R&B today sounds exactly like the original R&B.  Country music today sounds exactly like original country music.  Music genres never change; EVER!! 

 

Punk did not ruin anything, it simply challenged other genres and got mixed in.

bennyo53
bennyo53

@Mod_Generation tri-ska?

LaPanIAm
LaPanIAm

@PHXmusicdotcom Though I have to agree with him. RBF/MMB are ska/punk.

PHXmusicdotcom
PHXmusicdotcom

@LaPanIAm You're drawing the line between "third wave" and "ska/punk," right?

LaPanIAm
LaPanIAm

@PHXmusicdotcom Third wave has a timing element in it. I don't think categorizing by time is the best way differentiate style. Is Duffy 60s?

PHXmusicdotcom
PHXmusicdotcom

@LaPanIAm You make a great point! I was just sort of clarifying.

PoopFace
PoopFace

Hack, the third wave refers to the third wave of popularity not to ska punk. Third wave bands like the Slackers, Hepcat and many more pay homage to the traditional bands just as other bands pay homage to the two tone era. Sure there have been many bands that threw horns in their lineup and called themselves ska or skacore or ska-punk or whatever but they're not the only third wave bands nor or they even really ska at all half the time. Your lumping together of a timeframe as if it were a musical genre of its own shows your ignorance. Additionally, while RBF does indeed exist today they exist because of their rise in the 90's and are no more of a "todays band" than Madness or The Toasters. 

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