Big D and the Kids Table - Strictly Mixed and Mashed (Cover Artwork)

Big D and the Kids Table

Big D and the Kids Table: Strictly Mixed and MashedStrictly Mixed and Mashed (2008)
Fork in Hand

Reviewer Rating: 2.5

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's important to have affirmations. For me, this includes buying things I know I hate but can't remember why, such as Shamrock Shakes, new episodes of "Scrubs" and remix albums from bands I love; all three taste like failure mixed with mint and green dye. "I haven't had this in five years," I'll th.

It's important to have affirmations. For me, this includes buying things I know I hate but can't remember why, such as Shamrock Shakes, new episodes of "Scrubs" and remix albums from bands I love; all three taste like failure mixed with mint and green dye. "I haven't had this in five years," I'll think, "I wonder why?" That encroaching my-heart-is-turning-to-mush sensation is why.

Boston's Big D and the Kids Table, arguably the best ska band out there today, meanders every so often on their path towards horntastic righteousness. In between great ska-punk records like Good Luck and Strictly Rude, the group has released more experimental material that ranges from the truly horrific (the ill-advised rap album Porch Life) to the just OK (the Halloween-ish Salem Girls EP). Their latest project is Strictly Mixed and Mashed, a remix album by DJ BC.

BC's credits include the Beastles, a Beastie Boys / Beatles mash-up that was actually kind of fun, even though the mere thought of its existence probably gives some folks night terrors. Over the course of 20 tracks, BC attempts to bring new dimensions to the D's back catalogue. Working mostly with material from last year's Strictly Rude, he does a decent job -- it's certainly one of the better remix albums I've ever heard, although it does get boring after a while. Besides, it's still a remix album, so while some of these re-imaginings are neat, I'd still rather spin the original tunes.

That said, album opener "Dave's Shiny New Rap" won a Boston Music Award, and it's easy to see why -- it's fun, clam flammit. BC tends to work in extremes here; his remixes are either too faithful to the D's original reggae vibe or too techno-y. But on "Dave's Shiny New Rap," he finds a middle ground, preserving the soulful horn section while adding a more propulsive beat.

Other remixes get by on comedic value. Hearing the anti-bro anthem-cum-remix "Dem Kids Suck" is funny, although BC gives it a cool electronic groove. Surprise guest star and former president John F. Kennedy shows up on "Try Out Your JFK Voice," and his samples enhance the political call to arms frontman David McWane spits. Wayne & Wax rhymes over "Oo Yah Dood" and "Big Snake Bite," and he manages to carve his own hooks into the piece. His critiques of mainstream hip-hop are alternately humorous, insightful and catchy.

The same cannot be said for Rashorne Foster, who guests on "Salem Rastafari." While the track isn't reggaeton per say, it's about as dumb. Rhyming "rastafari" with "rastafari" 40 times does not a rap make.

The glut of tracks saps BC's creativity in spots as well. The chilled out reggae groove of "Strictly Rude" doesn't translate well, even though BC tries to maintain the original flow. Drenching McWane's angry spit take of a vocal on "LAX RMX" in echo and techno kill the feeling altogether. The a capella "LAX" cut at the end of the disc is a total throwaway track. "I'm Yrs Bawstin!!!1One!" constantly fluctuates between being humorous and annoying.

Strictly Mixed and Mashed isn't without some gems, but the songs blend together after a while. As a D fan I'm glad I own it, but, like any other remix album, it doesn't top the source material.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
balaka2 (May 9, 2009)

didnt even realize this was out there. good to see that people arent still fawning over strictly rude, which was pretty weak. how it goes, gipsy hill and salem girls are all better albums.

meesta3k (March 28, 2008)

I'm in the group that thinks "Strictly Rude" was a misstep for the band. They do get a lot of respect from me (for what THAT'S worth) for always trying new things. They're in the upper echelon of American ska bands these days, and they collaborated with a DJ for a remix album. Their last album was a two-tone- and dub- heavy record at a time when ska-punk still reigns supreme. The release before that was a Halloween-themed dub record. I admit that I prefer them better as the ska-punk band they were on Gypsy Hill and How It Goes, but I can't help but love their broad interests. It's easy for a band who has no credibility or reputation to take these risks, but for a band like Big D who's just skyrocketing, it's unusual and refreshing.

That said, I like this album and the concept in general. Big D is still cool by me as long we get a taste of the old ska-punk band that we've been mostly missing for three releases now.

86themike (March 28, 2008)

the horns may have lost some of their peak since Bush left. but i am really delighted with the lyrics that have come about with the last albums.

good luck/shot by lammi lacked any real substance (Fatman, Dirtlip, Jeremy, etc) with the exception of a few tracks on GoodLuck (Find Out, Good Luck, Can't Be Caught, etc) How It Goes was a good record about wanting more in life but not having the means to obtain them. I am happy Strictly Rude didn't continue with that vibe but the band was able to write but having those moments they wanted from How It Goes.

Good to see this band had tried new things oppose to other ska musicians who perform more of the same every record. I welcome the diversity.

Matthew330 (March 28, 2008)

I'll agree with the Slackers comment.

I have a theory that goes like this: when Chris Bush left the music (mostly horn related) became just extremely boring to me. He wrote a lot of the hornlines for their songs, and had a big hand in the rest of the music I think. Strictly Rude and their split with Brain Failure are just boring musically and the horns are WEAK.

erff (March 28, 2008)

milk shakes in general are awesome. scores for milkshakes and malts.

86themike (March 28, 2008)

they are not the best ska band in the world....the SLACKERS are.
as for strictly rude, that was a phenomenal album. Big d now stands head and shoulders above many other 3rd wave acts. Everybody says they were good during the Good Luck-era. Good Luck was good but not great in comparison to How it Goes or Strictly Rude.
And furthermore, ska bands that keep making the same album get old. Where is RBF now? still going but who really cares? Planet Smashers sound like every other ska band. Hell, the Toasters haven't done anything original for the last 4 records.

as for this record....some hits, some misses. i enjoy to hear different renditons of songs. it gets points for effort.

Matthew330 (March 28, 2008)

People think Big D is the best SKA band in the world now?

That's where we are now as a nation?

God damn. Strictly Rude was just overrated crap for the most part.

Skibz777 (March 28, 2008)

"....Bostonā??s Big D and the Kids Table, arguably the best ska band out there today...."

Very arguably. VERY arguably...

Absurdly arguably.

tenwestchaser (March 27, 2008)

Dude, shamrock shakes are fucking amazing.

Jelone (March 26, 2008)

Steve - NIN remix albums aren't that great either. Have you heard "Fixed?" It's garbage. As for the LAX vocals, my bad for not making the connection. That said, I don't think misunderstanding 1 out 20 tracks completely negates my opinion. Big D rules; Big D remixed not so much. Yeah, BC has some cool arrangements here and there, but the overall is too high in quantity and too little in quality.

NINJA - If it's impossible to make better remixes, what's the point? Furthermore, I think it is possible to outshine the source material. Minus the Bear's remix album, while also flawed, has some great interpretations. Alias' take on "Pachuca Sunrise" was tops.

GlassPipe - C'mon, now. J.D. is such a prick now. Sometimes I wish he'd just leave the show so Turk could take over.

Ollywood (March 26, 2008)

well in jelone's defense, he did say "new episodes" of "Scrubs" I haven't seen any of the episodes in the recent season however everything i've seen in the season after they introduced JD's kids father hasn't been nearly as great as previous.

joetheinvincible (March 26, 2008)

I miss when Big D used to be good. Like the Good Luck days. How it Goes was pretty good, but Strictly Rude was one of the biggest disappointments of last year.

And I actually think Salem Girls is probably their most solid mature work through and through. She's Lovely was a hot as shit song.

nameless (March 26, 2008)

Score is for GlassPipeMurder

ScandinavinNINJA (March 26, 2008)

Well I must agree that some of the tracks are repetative, but are still fun to listen to. As to the reviewers comment of wanting to listen to the originals more, NO KIDDING. Why make a remix album of crappy music. This is a remix cd of good music and it reminds you of that stuff, and of coarse your gonna want to losten to the solid stuff more. What did you expect, I do agree with forkinhand, I thought it was pretty obvious why the accapella LAX was put on the cd. But apparently it's too easy to complain, compared to thinking.

toxic_toast (March 26, 2008)

I miss the Big D that had 2 singers.

Those were the days.....

ForkInHand (March 26, 2008)

I'm a little bit concerned that the reviewer didn't even understand why there was an a capella track on the album. It's not a throw away, it's so people can make their own remixes of LAX. How are you supposed to give a fair review of the record when you don't even understand what it is? Especially considering the downward spiral is in the top ten albums of all time. I would expect a little more from a NiN fan.

Big D/Fork In Hand

GlassPipeMurder (March 26, 2008)

speak freely of this album, but PLEASE no slandering "Scrubs"!

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