Written By: Darwin Green
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies seem to have success when they focus their sound into a single genre. Their back catalogue, filled with examples from ska, big band, jazz, and even some flamenco bits can get a bit confusing or downright schizophrenic. They’ve proven once before with 1997’s Zoot Suit Riot that taking a cross section of their back catalog and organizing it together in a neat bundle can work for them. Thus with this new compilation the CPDs put together their most enthusiastic ska songs together into one package. One wonders though—how long has it been since ska was popular? The answer to this question might just lie in the nature of the CPDs. After all, this was a band that brought back big band to the Northwestern United States when grunge and alternative started taking off. Call them defiant? The point is that they were oddities then, and possibly oddities now, but maybe they know something we don’t, since they did achieve a measure of success and fame.
Ska is pretty straightforward. If you like Rancid, Sublime, Aquabats, or others, you’ll love this album. The songs range from sultry to sizzling, manic to moody, but the zeal and craft they put into each song conveys their love for music without question. Love them or hate them, dancing never seems far away when listening to this album. While I wouldn’t necessarily use the word “skankin’” or know the moves to dance the socks off in some retro swing bar, I would put this on for some party to keep the atmosphere hoppin’.