Spy Kids were formed in 1990 in San Diego, California by like-minded souls who shared a love of Jamaican music and ska. The band drew its influences from a wide range of artists such as Bad Manners, The Upsetters, local San Diego bands The Donkey Show, Color Blind and Gangbusters, and contemporary California ska bands Let’s Go Bowling, Hepcat and The Specs, among others. After cutting their teeth playing local scooter club parties and ska shows around southern California, Spy Kids went into the studio to record a four-song self-titled demo tape. The pinnacle of the band’s whirlwind existence came shortly after, as they earned a supporting slot opening for UK ska legends The Selecter in Riverside California. By the middle of 1991, Spy Kids gradually came to an end as various members went on to join up with acts such as Flogging Molly, Unwritten Law, Buck-O-Nine, Unsteady and Pivit. Matt Hensley and Jason Bowen were also part of the early lineup of Chicago ska stalwarts Deal’s Gone Bad. Spy Kids last live performance was playing alongside the newly formed Buck-O-Nine at a wild party in Vista, CA which was broken up when the police threatened to send in a helicopter; perhaps a fitting end to the band’s short-lived yet frenetic initial incarnation. Fast-forward to a scooter ride in 2018 which brought several of the original members together; and discussion about re-recording the original songs sparked the process of getting the Spy Kids back together and into the studio. In February 2020, thirty years later, the band recorded the “Covert Action” album, consisting of five songs from its initial incarnation, the brand new reggae-influenced “Wrong Number”, plus versions of Jimmy Cliff’s “Harder They Come” and Prince Buster’s “Judge Dread”, featuring skateboard legend Ron Allen on vocals. White and red vinyl both limited to 150 copies! Comes with a “90s style fanzine” and sticker set!
The Skunks were a third wave ska band formed in 1988 by a group of high school friends from suburban Maryland. They recorded three albums, performed extensively in the Washington, DC/Baltimore, Maryland area, and toured across the United States. “Chaos in Skaville” was the band’s first album, issues as a limited self-released cassette in 1991. The success of this release saw the band’s schedule become much more active, and during the summer of 1992 the band toured with The Toasters including legendary gigs at he Masquerade in Atlanta, Wilmington NC, Madison & Milwaukee WI and at Cabaret Metro in Chicago. The tour culminated, on February 27, 1993, with Moon Ska’s Skalapalooza at The Ritz in New York City, where The Skunks appeared with The Toasters, Bad Manners, The Skatalites, The Scofflaws, and Ruder Than You. After the tour, the Skunks signed with Moon Ska and shortly thereafter, “Chaos in Skaville” appeared in Moon’s catalog, where it was listed as MR034. Continue reading Third Wave 90’s classic: THE SKUNKS “Chaos In Skaville” LP (REPRESS in 2021)
ORANGE VINYL SOLD OUT SORRY! Black vinyl remains. Legendary 1991 alt rock/ska album on vinyl for the first time, adding 3 bonus tracks from the original sessions. Boston’s Bim Skala Bim are one of a handful of veteran ska bands that have kept ska in America alive through the decades, and for this set the group collaborated with Lou Giordano and other rock producers. The lyrics were more focused than on previous efforts, highlighting the group’s political engagement and familiarity with contemporary futuristic literature. Taking their cues from the jazz oriented Skatalites rather than British 2-Tone, this early release by the group’s five core members shows why they were one of the best. Dan Vitale’s compelling lead vocals and Jim Arhelger’s drums are firmly rooted in the rock arena, but they meet the band’s swelling horns and jazzy ska arrangements for a smooth, upbeat sound that’s paced at just the right tempo to demand dancing. For many of the band’s most devoted fans, “Bones” was the quintessential summer album, tunes like “Wandering Soul”, “In Our Midst”, “People In The World” and “At Wo’s” became the beach party soundtrack for college towns all across the Eastern seaboard. Limited edition of 500.