Modern Music for Dancing Lovers

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A good debut from the Portland-based Franceska, a young ska band with a fine singer and better-than-average horn section. The sound is fairly traditional -- clean guitar, jazzy horn charts, girl singer -- and good for them. The world has too many punk-ska bands as it is. Singer Erin Wallace has done her homework, and sings in a sweet, clear voice reminiscent of the young Doreen Schaeffer. Standout tracks on the album include a great cover of the Bob Marley classic "One Cup of Coffee," the slow-skanking "Why, Oh Why?" and the Latin-tinged "Diego." The last track on the program hides two bonus songs, live versions of "Skamental" and "Would You Be Mine?". Very nice.

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