The Pietasters

Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6

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    6
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Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is a perfect example of a CD that is as derivative as it is enjoyable. Greatly influenced by British punk/ska/reggae outfits like the Specials, Washington, D.C.'s Pietasters aren't innovative or groundbreaking -- this album often sounds like it could have come out in the late '70s or early '80s instead of the late '90s. But being retro isn't a bad thing if you do it with soul and integrity -- and on rugged yet melodic items like "What I Do," "Can't Stand It" and "Chain Reaction," the Pietasters deliver the goods. Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is superior to most of the punk/ska releases that came out in the '90s because the Pietasters don't come across as a band that decided to jump on the punk/ska bandwagon five minutes ago. In the late '90s, it wasn't uncommon to find young bands that took up punk/ska right after hearing No Doubt or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones but had a limited knowledge of both punk and ska -- many of them had never even heard the Specials, the Clash, or Bad Manners, let alone the Skatalites or Toots & the Maytals. But when Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 6 is playing, you get the impression that the Pietasters know their stuff and have spent a lot of time listening to not only punk/ska, but also, to classic ska, rocksteady, reggae, and soul music of the '60s. Recommended.

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