Before you give up on punk-ska altogether (though most American bands would give you ample reason to do just that), check out what's on offer from the land "deeown anda": Australia's charmingly adolescent Porkers. Metal guitars, tight horns, lyrics that address complex topics like marijuana legalization, recreational drunkenness, the cast of Hawaii Five-O and, developmental disabilities -- what more could you ask for? Tunes? You got 'em: "Alcohol"'s melody is perfect for humming (as are the lyrics, which tend toward couplets like "I love you alcohol/Baby I love you"), and though you' d never want to repeat the lyrics to "Woman" in public, the horn line may inspire you to start taking saxophone lessons. "Mongoloid" crosses the taste threshold a bit too aggressively, but there's no arguing with their cover of "California Sun," and the jumpy, blues-based "Earthquakin'" makes natural disaster sound like fun.
by Rick Anderson