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Sing Along With Skankin' Pickle

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Album Review

San Francisco's Skankin' Pickle had bad timing, hitting the peak of their powers just before ska became the next big thing in the late 1990s, and failing (perhaps not even trying) to capitalize on their sudden, if brief, popularity. The band made a number of fine albums on its own Dill Records label, and this is one of the best. When many other ska-punk bands went the easy route with faster-than-thou shout-alongs and odes to beer, Skankin' Pickle incorporated swing rhythms and dub textures into their songs while exploring such themes as family life ("Watch Your Tone"), slacker culture ("20 Nothing"), and female comedians ("It's Margaret Cho"). The best songs are those by guitarist Lynette Knackstedt ("Rotten Banana Legs") and, especially, Mike "Bruce Lee" Park ("Onyonghasayo," "Pabu Boy"), who has a monstrous way with a hook. (Park later left Skankin' Pickle to form his own label, Asian Man Records, and his own Bruce Lee Band.) At the end of the program is a hidden track, a weird sort of Bad Brains-ish heavy metal excursion layered with samples á la Doubting Thomas. There is also one ode to beer, the charmingly titled "Thick Ass Stout." It's an instrumental.


Formed: 1989 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

San Francisco-based ska-punk sextet Skankin' Pickle was formed in the spring of 1989 by vocalist/saxophonist Mike "Bruce Lee" Park, guitarist Lynette Knackstedt, bassist Ian Miller, trombonists Lars Nylander and Gerry Lundquist, and drummer Chuck Phelps. Forming their own label, Dill Records, the group issued a series of LPs including 1991's Skafunkrastapunk and 1992's Sing Along with Skankin' Pickle before...
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Sing Along With Skankin' Pickle, Skankin' Pickle
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