Johnny Too Bad and The Strikeouts - Patchwork Girl (Cover Artwork)

Johnny Too Bad and The Strikeouts

Patchwork Girl (1997)

Ska Satellite

Ah, thank you Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and No Doubt. If you hadn't blown up in the mainstream in that summer of '97, I might never have caught on to this great band. J2B & TSO are one of the better ska bands to have ever played around the east coast, and if you haven't heard their work, I highly suggest you do.

J2B play a great, gritty, mod-inflected style of ska, spiking it with doses of oi and street punk. The full horn section and expert musicianship sets sort of an odd backdrop for the grizzled vox of singer Rodger Phillips. Some of the songs stick to a more trad ska/jazz sound, such as "Skinhead Highway to Fernandoland" while others embrace the more punk side of things like "Cider Song" and "Sad Taco". The topics range from drinking to skateboarding, from riding the bus to loss of love. Its a great CD to throw on at parties, as J2B are the epitome of drinking music.

Incidently, this is a band that met an end before they could ever really prove themselves. Like Honest Don's is to Fat, so is Ska Satellite to Moon Records. This band, as far as I know, never made the jump to the bigs, and have since broken up. Its sad, because their full, brassy ska sound was one of the better ones, which is saying a lot about a band that shared an EC scene with Big D and the Kids Table, The Bosstones, Spring Heeled Jack USA, and The Toasters.

I highly suggest you pick up this CD if you like ska or mod, or even oi and street punk. Its a good piece to have to add diversity to your collection, its not over-produced, and so far, it hasn't gotten boring for me. So check it out, J2B just might surprise you.