Various Artists

Land of the Rising Ska: The Best of Japanese Ska

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A compilation of ska bands from Japan, Land of the Rising Ska: The Best of Japanese Ska has its ups and downs, mostly as a result of the bands featured aping the styles of their American influences without adding much of their own ingenuity. To top it off, their rudimentary knowledge of the English language detracts from the singalong quality that makes ska appealing to many of its fans. That being said, there is nothing here to be ashamed of, and at least one band (the Sideburns) needs to be heard by all die-hard ska fans. This compilation would have worked better if it had featured shorter songs and more bands, such as the Big Apple sampler New York Beat, Vol. 2 on the same label.

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