Two great vinyl releases from The Toasters label MEGALITH! The 2 TONE LIZARD KINGS hail from Arizona and deliver an album full of high octane traditional based ska and laid back rocksteady grooves that will put a kick in your step! The faster songs kind of have a vibe of early 90’s European bands like The Busters or No Sports, and the slower reggae tunes fit in with many bands on Moon NYC back in the heyday. A nostalgic listen indeed! Next up is CARTOON VIOLENCE from Wales – their sound is an insanely catchy affair that mixes super bouncy 2 tone ska with distinctly British sounding pop & indie stylings. Their songs capture the classic Brit Pop storytelling vibe of the likes of The Kinks, Madness, Squeeze, The Hotknives & Parklife-era Blur, with each tune lyrically being like a mini kitchen sink drama in its own right! Endless soaring energy, great sing-a-long choruses & wonderful piano/organ melodies are all hallmarks of the band’s unique ska sound.
PAMA INTERNATONAL “Love & Austerity” CD now in stock! On their latest album two new female lead vocalists compliment the returning all star veterans – kicking things off is an upbeat reggae cover of the classic Martha Reeves soul number “Heatwave”. Songs like “Austerity Skank”, “Man Next Door” and “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” show off the bands strong reggae roots while tracks like “I Cried Till I Stopped” and “Skies Are Blue” showcases the new vocalists’ soul and blues influences. Hand assembled “LP style” eco wallet with mini poster. PHOENIX CITY ALL STARS are an all-star UK group that release fantastic tribute albums, we’ve restocked the band’s excellent ROLLING STONES cover album “SKATISFACTION”. Not to be outdone, PAMA INTERNATIONAL’s “Trojan Sessions” has finally been reissued! Originally released in 2006, this classic features DERRICK MORGAN, DENNIS ALCAPONE, DAWN PENN, RICO RODRIGUEZ, DAVE & ANSIL COLLINS, and WINSTON FRANCIS.
MAD BUTCHER once again delivers the goods – two must have post 2-TONE classics from BUSTER BLOODVESSEL and NICK WELSH (aka KING HAMMOND). “Return of the Ugly” is the sixth studio album by British 2 Tone ska band BAD MANNERS, released independently in 1989 on the resurrected “BLUE BEAT” label in the UK and on Relativity in the USA. A true return to form, many songs became instant classics and are still fan favorites to this day! Includes “SKAVILLE UK”, “THIS IS SKA”, “BONANZA SKA”, “SINCE YOU’VE GONE AWAY”, “RETURN OF THE UGLY” plus LAUREL AITKEN classics “SALLY BROWN” and “HEY LITTLE GIRL”. Not to be outdone, we also have back in stock the 1989 classic from BUSTER’S ALL STARS (the BAD MANNERS “side” project with Buster Bloodvessel) and their amazing 2 TONE inspired homage to skinheads: “Skinhead Luv Affair”. Featuring songwriting brilliance from NICK WELSH (aka KING HAMMOND) – this album was much more than a novelty conceived while BAD MANNERS was on “hiatus” – it’s popularity actually helped reform the band! Members of BUSTERS ALL STARS and the remaining members of the original BAD MANNERS “merged” to create the BAD MANNERS unit that would record the modern day classic “RETURN OF THE UGLY”! These two albums are an important part of the link from the original 2-TONE movement to the birth of ska’s third wave worldwide!
KING HAMMOND is Nick Welsh. He is a musician, producer, and songwriter from the United Kingdom. He is by far one of the most prolific ska/reggae musicians on either side of the pond, his resume includes PRINCE BUSTER, LAUREL AITKEN, DAVE BARKER, RICO RODRIGUEZ, and JUDGE DREAD. Nick also played on LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY’S Grammy Award winning album “Jamaican ET’. As a bassist and song writer in BAD MANNERS and THE SELECTER, he was integral to both band’s post 2-TONE success. Continue reading KING HAMMOND “The Beat Is Blue” LP vinyl – amazing new album entirely in 1960’s UK BLUE BEAT style!
They crew at MAD BUTCHER Germany really outdid themselves with these reissues from the late 8os!! ARTHUR KAY’s “RARE AND TASTY” was released on SKANK Records in 1988 but actually compiled his rare self-released singles during the beginning of the 80s during the height of 2-TONE. Songs like “PLAY MY RECORD” and “SOOTY IS A RUDY” are stone cold 2-TONE classics, but his “SKA WARS” single was not far behind. This album is essential for all fans of “lost” UK 2-TONE sounds! The other reissue from the same period is 1989’s 4 track EP from the RUDE BOYS, this was the new orleans r&b styled ska band fronted by Roddy Moreno of The Oppressed. Originally released on 12″ single on SKA RECORDS, Mad Butcher has put this exact repro on 7″ single once again!
Continuing the UNICORN reissue restocks – we restocked the brilliant debut album from Italy’s finest 2-TONE influenced ska act CASINO ROYALE – “TEN GOLDEN GUNS” was released in 1989 to critical acclaim and launched the career of a band that would last decades, but who would change stylistically. The debut is simply the best for SKA fans! “Someone Says” is a true 2-TONE sing along classic – one that we played on our earliest radio shows back when it came out! Continue reading MAD BUTCHER reissues late 80’s European Revival classics! THE RIFFS “Who Wants It” LP + THE BRACES “Prime Cut” & “Blue Flame” LP
If you haven’t picked up a MEOW MEOWS record yet….what on earth are you waiting for?? This English band has been a touring monster, their high energy 2-TONE ska brings to mind the DANCE HALL CRASHERS and THE SPECIALS!! Comparisons to THE SKINTS and HOLLIE COOK also are immediate – guess it’s that British accented sultry female wordplay? We fell in love with their first album “SOMEHOW WE MET” – of course immediately putting it to wax! A year or so later we released the limited “Friends on Benefits” 7″ EP …but we are so proud to say that thie brilliant new album is HERE on vinyl! We found this amazing write up from Brightonpost.com – we couldn’t descrive the album any better – so here it is!! Continue reading MEOW MEOWS “Go Boom” LP vinyl / Import CD – A must for fans of THE SKINTS, THE SPECIALS, DANCE HALL CRASHERS and HOLLIE COOK!
It’s so exciting to see these late 80’s / early 90’s European revival albums originally released on UNICORN and SKANK RECORDS back on wax from our friends at MAD BUTCHER in Germany. To put it simply, labels like UNICORN, SKANK, SKA, and PORK PIE bridged the gap between the end of 2-TONE and the beginning of what became known as the “third wave”. Super melodic with catchy vocals and gentle horns, THE HOTKNIVES “THE WAY THINGS ARE” was truly a modern British ska classic. To this day, this album is still my stone cold favorite from the Unicorn catalog. Songs like “DAVE & MARY”, “OLD MAN AND HIS DOG” and “DON’T GO AWAY” are so perfectly English, strong lyrics that stay in your head forever. Exact replica from the 1990 issue – we can not recommend this enough for people who like 2-TONE ska!!
Prior to THE HOTKNIVES debut studio album – SKANK records releases an amazing LIVE double LP capturing the band at it’s prime!! A two LP set full of tunes that would become popular worldwide, including covers of “LIQUIDATOR”, “DOUBLE BARRELL”, and “AL CAPONE”. Tracklisting: A1 Cryin’ A2 Alcoholic Nightmare A3 Don’t Go Away A4 Dick Barton A5 Turkey Stomp A6 Doing Alright B1 Skin Up Harry B2 Believe It B3 Driving Me Mad B4 She’s A Lady B5 Liquidator B6 Holsten Boys C1 Rio C2 W. L. N. C3 Jack The Ripper D1 Dust Of Death D2 Double Barrel D3 Al Capone
What has UK ska darlings MEOW MEOWS been up to recently? Well, they’ve got a brand new 3 track 7” single called “FRIENDS ON BENEFITS” on JUMP UP RECORDS! Of course it’s a fantastic mix of 2 TONE ska and garage rock lead by a female vocal force, drawing comparisons to a wide range of artists like THE SKINTS, HOLLIE COOK, THE SELECTER, and DANCE HALL CRASHERS! But the origins of the title track is truly fascinating! Read on below! Continue reading MEOW MEOWS “Friends On Benefits” 7″ EP (OUT OF PRINT)
Are you looking for a new high energy 2-TONE ska band that brings to mind the DANCE HALL CRASHERS and THE SPECIALS? We’ve got your new favorite band: MEOW MEOWS! In the three years since their debut they have earned rave reviews touring the UK and supporting some of 2 TONE’s biggest names! Producer Mike “PRINCE FATTY” Pelanconi (SKINTS, GRAHAM COXON, HOLLIE COOK) locked the band in his Brighton-based Ironworks studio to capture the raucous energy of their live shows which have made them firm festival favorites. The twelve brand new sixties-tinged tracks blend ska, reggae and garage rock to create an upbeat summer soundtrack.