It dawned on me the other day that I’m going to have fewer bargain bins to dig around in. Sunrise Records is pulling out of Toronto, to the surprise of no one. Sonic Boom has also been reducing the size of their CD selection and Rotate This has eliminated it completely. I asked about the fate of many of these unwanted CDs and it turns out most of them getting tossed in the dumpster.
Fortunately, there are guys like me who are more than happy to save a disc or four from a Toy Story 3-style death. For the low, low cost of 99 cents I acquired an EP called “Blue Plate Special” by the ska-punkers Dance Hall Crashers. Here’s a band I don’t actually know that much about. They had a kick-ass song called “Enough” on the soundtrack to the movie Angus and their full-length “Lockjaw” was pretty rad.
Blue Plate Special is more of the same (and I mean that in a good way). Openers “She’s Trying” and “Lady Luck” are fine pieces of upbeat ska. “Truly Comfortable” has some great call and response between singers Elyse Rogers and Karina Denike. There’s also an acoustic version of “Shelley” (one of the better tracks from “Lockjaw”) and an oddball song about playing along with romantic advances from a creepy Santa Claus called “I Did It For the Toys”. (spoiler: she’s Jewish!!) The only misfit on here is a remix of “All Mine” that did nothing for me. But five great songs for a buck is about 500% better than iTunes. I’ve been on a bit of a ska kick lately and this record definitely hit the spot for me. It’s a shame the band hasn’t done anything over the past ten years. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a reunion, but if a tour happens, I’ll gladly buy a ticket and a t-shirt.