The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Ska-core, The Devil And More (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Ska-core, The Devil And More (1994)


Take ska. Add punk. Add horns. Stir. Easy, right? Lots of kids in 1997 were doing it. But at the end of the day, none of them could play nearly as well or with nearly enough charisma as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Not only were they one of the firsts, but they've been playing and improving on this style year after year. So after releasing a trio of records, the Bosstones decided to pay respects to their musical influences and came up with an EP of covers with some extra live tracks tacked on at the end. And while cover songs can be tricky, the Bosstones don't disappoint as they come through in quintessential skacore fashion as only they can.

Starting it off with the instantly recognizable horn intro to their most popular song not called "Impression That I Get," the excellent "Someday I Suppose" is a proper introduction to the boys from Boston. To those of you who‘ve only heard their hit record, brace yourself for the hardcore side of the band. Guitarist Nate Albert starts it with the opening riff to "Think Again" from legendary D.C. punks Minor Threat. Here, they throw a metallic slant on it and turn it into a galloping speed romp with Dicky and the gang shouting "Think again! Think again! Think again and again and again and again!" The horns in the chorus and the interlude nicely complement the song. Next up, they spit out a ripping, over-before-you-know-it cover of the Angry Samoans' "Lights Out" and follow that with the menacing sludge of "Police Beat" by fellow Boston old schoolers, SSDecontrol. Thankfully, they decided not to include any ska or horns on here because, frankly, there is neither the time nor the place for it.

The Bosstones turn down the thrash and pay homage to their ska/reggae roots by covering Bob Marley's "Simmer Down." This is one to just kick back to and enjoy. You get a bouncing ska line with breezy horns as trombonist Dennis Brockenborough sings the Rasta vocals. They then give you a taste of their frenetic live show (and in particular Dickys' classic growl) with some live tracks. The classic chant of "Mighty Mighty….BOSS-TONES!" is a nice inclusion before the band jumps head first into "Drunks And Children," "I'll Drink To That," and "Howwhywuz, Howwhyam."

Cover songs can be tough. Often times, it depends on what the individual listener wants out of it. But the Bosstones are sure to satisfy all tastes here without any hitches. They use discretion and faithfully stick to the originals while adding their own flavor to the songs when appropriate. And lucky for us, Dicky's throat is unmistakable. So the end result? Another solid outing from the only guys in Boston who could possibly make wearing plaid suits seem OK.