10-odd years or so after the genre’s decline, so many people tend to automatically write off releases from the genre of 3rd-wave ska. Can you really blame them? I can’t, with the numerous stale and repetitive albums we’ve seen in the last five years. But I implore you not to ignore “Music For Fine Dining,” the newest full-length by Milwaukee’s Something To Do.
However, that’s not to say that the music on this record can strictly be defined as 3rd wave. Influences from pop punk, alt rock, 1st wave and 2-tone ska, and even a bit of gypsy swing stick out strong. If I have one pet peeve musically (and I assure you, I have many), it’s when a one-trick pony band claims a thousand genre-spanning influences, and then releases stylistically-limited music. That’s not the case here, as the diversity of sound stands out track-by-track.
This is a pretty lyrically standard release, packed with the usual songs of girls and relationship woes, but any redundancy that might be implied there is skillfully crafted. It might not be anything we haven’t heard before, but it’s honest and well-written, and sometimes that’s all I need. Plus, grade-A vocals by singer/bassist Nathan Tredinnick backed by bitchin’ harmonies and gang vocals by the rest of the band come together to pull of everything smoothly.
Throw in a well-polished brass section and a couple of never-too-quiet guitars, and you’ve got a great summer album. My favorite tracks include “Man In The Black Sedan,” “All Of The Best,” “Down, Down, Down,” and “Told You So.” This one gets 7/10 stars. For some background, check out my recent interview with the band. This one officially drops next week, so keep your eye out for a stream.