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Awesome Mix Tape No. 6

The Pietasters

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Album Review

Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is a perfect example of a CD that is as derivative as it is enjoyable. Greatly influenced by British punk/ska/reggae outfits like the Specials, Washington, D.C.'s Pietasters aren't innovative or groundbreaking — this album often sounds like it could have come out in the late '70s or early '80s instead of the late '90s. But being retro isn't a bad thing if you do it with soul and integrity — and on rugged yet melodic items like "What I Do," "Can't Stand It" and "Chain Reaction," the Pietasters deliver the goods. Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is superior to most of the punk/ska releases that came out in the '90s because the Pietasters don't come across as a band that decided to jump on the punk/ska bandwagon five minutes ago. In the late '90s, it wasn't uncommon to find young bands that took up punk/ska right after hearing No Doubt or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones but had a limited knowledge of both punk and ska — many of them had never even heard the Specials, the Clash, or Bad Manners, let alone the Skatalites or Toots & the Maytals. But when Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is playing, you get the impression that the Pietasters know their stuff and have spent a lot of time listening to not only punk/ska, but also, to classic ska, rocksteady, reggae, and soul music of the '60s. Recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Washington DC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Pietasters, a ska revival band, were founded in Washington D.C. in 1990 by singer/songwriter Stephen Jackson. In 1992, the group got their first big break when they were chosen as the opening act for a tour by the British ska band Bad Manners. Their first album, The Pietasters, was released by Moon Ska Records in 1993. Oolooloo followed on May 22, 1995. Strapped Live! was issued on April 30, 1996. In 1997, the Pietasters signed to Hellcat/Epitaph, with which they released two albums, Willis (October...
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Awesome Mix Tape No. 6, The Pietasters
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