Friday, April 1, 2011


Song: "Hooliganism"
Artist: Explorersz
Search Term: "Hooliganism"

The profusion of idiotic California ska bands that metastasized in the mid-'90s (Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Save Ferris, etc.) pretty well obliterated any interest I may once have had in delving into the genre beyond Madness and whatever Camper Van Beethoven chose to do with that distinctive rhythm. But this modest ska smoothie is pretty likable for what it is: Eschewing the fratty "pop-punk" leanings of the '90s revival, Explorersz reach further back to the milder, calypso-based roots of the sound, with no distortion on the guitar and charming details like the way the familiar brass instruments pause for an uncertain-sounding harmonica break. The heavily accented singer, who seems to be scraping his very deepest register for the sake of regalness, repeatedly admonishes that "hooliganism is very bad," but the pervading cheerfulness completely avoids any sense that he's wagging his finger at anyone. It's hardly original or even noteworthy, but it does provoke a smile or two.

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