Various Artists

Take Warning: Songs of Operation Ivy

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A decade after the inception of seminal ska-revival, an impressively diverse roster of bands endeavors to doff their alternative/punk/speed-reggae hats to Berkeley's Operation Ivy. Whiffs of the musically mod from rap to neo-swing are present, from Reel Big Fish's yelling-in-the-street-sound on "Unity" to "Sound System," by the hip militia, Cherry Poppin' Daddies. The indecipherable lyrics and long-held notes on My Superhero's "Big City" don't duplicate the frenzied vocals on the original version, although Pocket Lent's pristine "Bankshot" is a suitably energetic, simplistic sample of what made Ivy a sensation. We assume bands like Green Day and Dance Hall Crashers literally would not exist without the capabilities of Ivy's self-proclaimed allegiance to the Clash, yet in exactly this spirit of tribute we hear from the Aquabats, the Hippos, Teen Heroes, Home Grown, and the ever-fun Long Beach BDub All-Stars (stuffed with ex-members of Sublime). In many ways a perfect way to inject a diverse sound into ska, which needs more than its fun simple self, sometimes, to stay alive.

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