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This Good Thing

The Stingers ATX

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Album Review

Over the past ten years, ska has gone from a punch line to national sensation and back to punch line status again. And it's no wonder, really: when the most recent ska craze took hold, it gave rise to scores of hastily formed bands with little to no understanding of the genre or its roots, almost all of which were immediately signed to labels that rushed to release a market-saturating glut of crappy albums. There was gold in that flood, of course, but it was hard to find and it's easy to understand why most music buyers gave up early in the attempt. The really sad thing is that so many will overlook gems like this one, from the Austin-based Stingers ATX. Fans of the (now sadly languishing) downtown New York traditional ska scene will be thrilled to see Victor Rice's name in the credits, though perhaps disappointed that he's present as a producer (and one-shot percussionist) only. But his production style brings a wonderful, organic grittiness to the band's sound, and his dub mixes are spectacular. Highlights include the swinging "In the End," a very fine slab of rubbery rocksteady titled "Just Ain't Right," and an affectionate take on "What a Wonderful World" (which is followed by a blistering dub version). Highly recommended to all fans of traditional ska, as well as to anyone whose mind is even slightly open to the possibility.

This Good Thing, The Stingers ATX
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  • €8.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music
  • Released: 11 November 2002

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