Friday, March 27, 2009

The Toasters in Trouser Press!

This posting might just be for the ska geeks, fanboys, and obsessives out there, but for those of you who give a damn (and I know you're out there!), The Toasters have FINALLY been recognized in the "the bible of alternative rock," Trouser Press.

For the uninitiated, Trouser Press started in 1974 as kind of a rock music fanzine that really hit its stride in the 80s with its extraordinary coverage of the New Wave music scene. Then, beginning in 1983, they published several Trouser Press Record Guide books, the most essential of which was the Fourth Edition, which still offers the best coverage of New Wave music out there, and includes reviews of key 2 Tone-era albums (my dog-eared copy is one of my most prized music reference books). Currently, every review Trouser Press printed is housed on their website, and this vital archive of alternative music reviews continues to be augmented with new entries every few weeks.

The Toasters' overview in Trouser Press includes this assesment of Buck's and the band's accomplishments:
Bucket has endured just about every kind of trouble that can beset a working musician. He has been the Toasters' sole constant member; as of early 2009, nearly three dozen players have come and gone from the ranks. He has faced all the financial and legal challenges of running an independent label — including shutting it down and starting a new one. The ups and downs in ska's popularity haven't helped either. Through it all, though, Buck's generosity of spirit, his refusal to bow to adversity and his genuine love for ska have kept the Toasters going for an uninterrupted quarter-century, still releasing albums of new material and playing to enthusiastic audiences around the globe. For all the acclaim that fairly accrued to the 2 Tone bands, none of them can say the same.
The entry goes on to include spot-on reviews of all of The Toasters' key albums, from "Recriminations" to "One More Bullet"--and gives "New York Fever," a record that helped re-ignite version 4.0 of The Toasters during the early 90s, the long-overdue recognition it earned. (Just to give it some context, The Toasters seemed to struggle a bit to regain their equalibrium after the Unity 2 split for short-lived major label glory and the fantastic "Skaboom"/"Thrill Me Up"-era Toasters dissolved in '89/'90--and "New York Fever" was the broadside they unleashed to declare they were back in the fight.) The wham, bam, thank you ma'am hat trick of "New York Fever," "Ploughshares into Guns," and "History Book" still raises the hair on the back of my neck, and "Shebeen," even if you dock it a few points for swiping the War horn riff, remains one of the catchiest pop tunes ever to reference Prince Buster (take that Madness)!


Adam Coozer said...

NY Fever is my fave!

Steve from Moon said...


Their gigs in support of NY Fever around that time were pretty damn good, too.

Thanks for your comment!