V/A - Potluck
Stub Daddy

"Potluck" is a new compilation from a new record label in New Jersey.  About 
a third of the songs are pre-released stuff from some of the more popular 
ska bands around these days, while the other two thirds come from various 
bands around the country who are relatively unknown.  Two or three years ago 
I wouldn't haven given a compilation like this much notice, but it's nice to 
see that kids are still willing to go out and play the kind of music they 
enjoy and not move on to something that's more popular.  At its best 
moments, this compilation reminds me of carefree summers spent listening to 
the Toasters and Less than Jake.  At its worst, it contains some really bad 
ska cliches.

It features: -Slow Gherkin; with a very nice opening to the CD. "Shed some skin" is possibly the best song on here, with a simple but very catchy and effective chorus and enough pop to make listeners want to dance. -The Ray-guns; with a trite and rather disposable high school-y love song. -Decepticonz; with completely off the wall and ballistic ska. This song wins points for screamy eye rolling and shouting. -MU330; with the catchy "32 cents" is a strong contributor here. It's nice to see this band exploring some new sounds while many other ska bands spin in repetitive circles. -Edna's Goldfish; with a reasonably good live song, which includes a nice vocal "uh-oh-oh, uh-oh-oh." Pretty cool. -The Pietasters (with Coolie Ranx); one of the most consistently good bands playing ska music these days. This song includes nice use of a piano in place of a guitar for the upbeat part. -Alcoskalics; whose music is a lot better than their horrible name. A nice catchy song with a fast, memorable bass line. -Short round; not bad musically, but takes the prize for worst lyrics. "I just gotta get in some pants / And I hope that I can get in yours." I'll be hitting the bars with that line. -Secret Cajun Band; who I think also has bad lyrics but I can't be sure as none are included in the liner notes, and I really don't want to misquote them. Nice "Under the Sea"-esque percussion though. -Spring Heeled Jack; one of the best songs on here, all about parents who won't let their kids do what they did when they were young. Catchy and effective. -Jeffries Fan Club; I thought this band was pretty unremarkable until I heard the turntable. A few nice scratchy parts add a lot to this song, one of the coolest ones on here. -Monkey; sort of interesting weird keyboard parts in this song, not much else worth mentioning. -The Diablotones; I got the pro score tape on Minneapolis while listening to this song, so I guess I like it pretty well. The song is called "BMW" and I think it's about Bob Marley, not the European car. -One Cool Guy; another lyrical train wreck. Ok, you don't use drugs or alcohol, but how many times do you have to say "no drugs, no alcohol"? We get the point. And a chorus that includes the words "skank with me," well, I think that speaks for itself. Mail Order Children; "Let's go" just isn't an original way to start a song anymore. Pavlov's Dogs; there are eighteen songs on here, this is another sort of mediocre one. I think I see why this band is second to last. The Blackouts; A sort of dull ska song, this album really ran out of steam a few songs ago.
Final Score- Good bands: 8 Average bands: 4 Bad bands: 6
...erick bieritz...

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