April 4, 2009

Mod-A-Day: The Toasters

Arguably The Toasters did more to bring ska to America than any other band, and they certainly paved the way for the big ska scare of the 90s that featured charting bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Sublime.

Formed in 1982 by Brit turned New Yorker, Rob "Bucket" Hingley, the band even created their own label to produce and distribute their albums. The Toasters produced a few albums in the 80s, and then kept right on going producing a fistful through the 90s and their latest one in 2007. They've collaborated with the likes of Joe Jackson, and featured ska legends on their albums and in concert such as Laurel Aiken and Lester Sterling. Their best album, in my mind, was 1996's Hard Band for Dead (a play off of Prince Buster's classic Hard Man for Dead release). The album showcased the band's eclectic influences from jazzy swing to boogie woogie, from rock steady to sixties soul -- all with an obvious nod to the Two-Tone style of ska they've always favored. Here then with "'90s beats and '50s roots," is "2 Tone Army".

The Toasters -- 2 Tone Army