Dance Hall Crashers

The Old Record (1989-1992)

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Running chronologically backwards through the Dance Hall Crashers' archives, Old Record (1989-1992) bundles up in its entirety their self-titled debut album, along with a trio of earlier recordings, their contribution to the California Ska-Quake compilation, and a hat trick of new songs. Therefore, the compilation closes with what was the band's initial statement of intent, the exhilarating "DHC," while also found dangling at the bottom of the set is the exuberant "Skinhead BBQ," both songs dating from 1989. It wasn't long before DHC caught the ear of Moon Records, and set to walk on their debut album, a giddy mixture of poppy punk rock and ska, built around a mid-tempo beat, with the band's signature dual vocals to the fore, and boasting lashings of guitar and strong, horn-drenched melodies. It was a distinctive mix that was not only far removed from the ska emanating off the east coast, but was equally unique on their own side of the continental divide.

DHC folded just as Dance Hall Crashers hit the shops, but came back together for a one-off show at San Francisco's Slim's in 1992. So rabid was the audience response to their appearance that the group decided to permanently re-form there and then. The compilation opens with the three numbers that DHC wrote and recorded soon after that happy event. The rocking "Othello," the more delicate skanker "Nuisance," and the effervescent, harmony drenched "North Pole" all boding well for the future. And so the DHC story is brought straight up to date, and a new chapter now beckons.

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