In the mid to late 90’s something crept into music unlike anything that generation had heard before. It was punk/pop coupled with brass instruments with a beat and a feel reminiscent of Island music. It was called Ska and the third wave had hit the US charts only for many of us, including me, to be swept up in it. One of my favorite bands to come out of the third wave was The Pietasters and the album Oolooloo.
Why This Album?
I was first introduced to The Pietasters via a copulation series from Hellcat records entitled Give ‘Em The Boot. Give ‘Em the Boot was a collection of Hellcat Records most popular bands including Voodoo Glowskulls, Hepcat, Rancid, Swingin’ Utters and more but it was The Pietasters track ‘New Breed’ that caught my ear and made me track down the album it came from. Willis was intense, more punk than ska but still with the ska overtones. I had already come to love The Toasters, The Specials and Hepcat, so this album fit right in to my then current taste in my post-grunge phase. It was when I dug deeper into their discography that I discovered today’s album, and feel deeply for the fun, upbeat rhythms of Oolooloo.
To me, Oolooloo is one of the best representations of Third Wave Ska. Capturing the loud and irreverent punk sounds, but still embracing the island beats and brass band style. I soon discovered that this was what I was after, it was something fresh and fun, something relaxing and something I could sing along with.
Released in May of 1995, Oolooloo is one of those albums that is just fun to listen to. Every track is a treat of sounds from the mesmerizing vocals from Stephen Jackson to the great bass lines by Todd Eckhardt, it is an album that demands you listen to it and nothing else. It is fun, it is jovial and feels oh so right. Covering traditional songs such as The Same Old Song, to punk inspired tracks like Freak Show, this is one that, every time I listen to it, I am transported back to those days when I first discovered Ska.
Maggie Mae is a great song that I can see people having a blast in a bar with. It is a drinking song through and through, and a fun one at that!
Biblical Sense, yeah, this one is about sex so…you’ll see a theme here.
Girl Take It Easy. Man, this one. again, about sex but the after effects of a late night of drinking as well.
Ok, Where do I get it?
Sadly, this one is out of print but it has been made available on Spotify so you can enjoy it in it’s entirety there. If you run across a copy in the wild, snag it, it is just too much fun not to! Keep in mind though, this one may need some parental advisory, just sayin’.
Late to the Game 11/10/2020 ( originally published 7/16/19)
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