I have yet to find a way to purchase any of their recordings, so needless to say I downloaded the tracks instead. Not to be confused with the similarly named Suburban Legends I wrote about earlier, these crazy dudes from California were only around a short while in the 90’s, but they put out some ridiculously good music before succumbing to inner-band squabbles.
Commonly associated with the 3rd wave ska scene (most people would know their name from Reel Big Fish’s song S.R.), they really aren’t a ska band, as even their ska numbers deviate quite a bit from the usual standards. They aren’t heavy on horns at all, and they make inspired use of their guitars to blend in funk, rock, punk, and even a little country. It is hard to really pin them down to one style, but with them that’s a good thing.
Plus, they’ve got some interesting lyrics, like in the ludicrously cathartic 99 Degrees: “I’m feeling 99 degrees, and I don’t mean Fahrenheit! It’s Celsius, you oaf! When I hear your wicked words, they choke me up until I’m blue, just like the rope I’d use if I was gonna strangle you!”. Fortunately, they are not nearly as angry on their other songs, and are able to effortlessly phase between serious (Coming Out of the Woodwork) and goofy topics (Gameshow, “Pat Sajak is a saviour, he always has a vowel for sale!”). A shame they were so short lived!
Since you’d probably have a hell of a time finding their recordings, I’ll be going a little overboard with links on this one.
From Suburban Rhythm
Lust – (MP3, 4.9 MB)
Coming Out of the Woodwork – (MP3, 5.4 MB)
My Sister Sam – (MP3, 4.6 MB)
Gameshow – (MP3, 3.8 MB)
99 Degrees – (MP3, 4.5 MB)
Tension – (MP3, 6.8 MB)