It’s been my opinion that the birth of The Green Room Rockers signaled the start of a new phase for the Ska scene. In GRR, you’ll find the trad-ska sounds you’ve always loved, plus a heaping helping of that soulful, dirty reggae that’s been a big hit since The Aggrolites broke out- all this from one of the most unlikely places, Indiana. But what stands out the most, to me, is their age. I love that the youth is embracing the Jamaican sounds and not simply standing on the shoulders of the third wave or two tone.
It wasn’t long after Green Room’s first record, Hoosier Homegrown, that I started seeing this trend build steam. In a showing of solidarity, GRR have teamed up with their Ohio counterparts and occasional collaborators, The Pinstripes, to release a killer 10″.
It’s called Midwest Soundclash, and features three songs from each band. The Pinstripes have grown more than you’d expect since their 2008 debut latest record, The Decay- and the track Cool Whip/Hot Sauce is a stand out on this split. However, it doesn’t get any better than GRR’s cover of Symarip’s Stay With Him. I’ve been playing one version or another of this tune all year- this is one of those songs that stays in your brain for days and extra days.
“But,” in the words of Commander La Forge, “Don’t take my word for it…” Stream the whole record here, for free: