To many who came of music-interest age in the mid-1990s, ska music – via its third-wave, guitar-heavy incarnation — felt like a new thing. It was a brass- and Fender-fueled explosion for fans that wanted some color with their punk chords, and via the success of bands like No Doubt and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, it bombarded the mainstream before fading into the background with our entry to the aughts.
But ska was not a new thing. And the Toasters – scheduled to visit Mohawk Place (43 E. Mohawk St.) for a show at 8 p.m. Jan. 27– was not a new band. Founded in 1981 in New York City by U.K. native Robert “Bucket” Hingley, the band skanked around the scene for 15 years before unleashing the 1996 breakthrough single, “2-Tone Army.” But despite the third-wave designation, the style they swayed with was firmly rooted in the 2-tone ska that rose to prominence in Hingley’s home country in the late-70s with bands like the Specials and Madness – who were influenced by the genre’s inception in Jamaica over a decade earlier.
Bottom line: the Toasters and its contemporaries made an established art form feel new to an entire generation. On Wednesday, the band will reintroduce itself to past fans and newcomers with trombones, keys and ska chords, delivering party music that, decades and multiple iterations after its original inception, still feels fun.
Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12-$14 and are available at ticketfly.com.
– Michael Farrell