Like all good music genres, ska comes and goes in waves. One second, ska bands are invading record store shelves and radio airwaves, only to be proclaimed dead the next second. Like most music, the best of it is tucked away nicely, ready to explode out into the music scene.
That’s exactly how it is with Melbourne, Australia, ska act The Resignators. A strong work ethic and DIY sensibility ensured that The Resignators caught the attention of audiences worldwide. The band boast having played more than 450 shows since their formation in 2005. It’s no wonder that the band have caught the attention and eardrums of punk fans throughout the world. They seem to have it all: their catchy, infectious sound, combined with the loudness and aggressiveness of punk rock, make them one of the most intriguing bands of the ska genre.
With “See You In Hell,” The Resignators have skilfully combined a heavier rock emphasis with ska than most bands. Sure, it’s still catchy and it feels pretty upbeat, but the typical upstroke riffs that are so commonplace with ska music have been replaced by riffs that tend to be found more in punk music.
That doesn’t mean that The Resignators are more punk rock than ska. If anything, they show a more complete blending of the two genres without becoming too much of one or the other. The Resignators have a lot in common sound-wise with ska staples Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake, though with less goofy antics than the former. They also discuss a lot of the same topics as these bands: love, hate, family, and tacos.
The album does get off to a slightly bizarre start, with the opening to the title track, “See You In Hell” sounding oddly more like the Kid Rock song, “Bawitdaba” than a traditional ska-punk song. Fortunately, the rest of the album is an awful lot better than whatever Kid Rock has been putting out lately (or ever). After the bizarre opening notes, “See You In Hell” turns into a track that is perfect to scream at enemies- after all, it’s gleefully looking forward to the day the other person ends up in hell- and leaves all references to bad rock music behind.
Despite songs with titles like “See You In Hell” and “Rage,” the album takes on a primarily upbeat feeling. Tracks like “I Farken Love You” and “Booze and Tattoos” show a lighter side of the band without creating a maudlin or cliché feel for the album. This is an album that will have people committing the lyrics to memory in order to be able to shout them out from the mosh pits of Resignators concerts.
Ska isn’t dead. It is merely waiting in the shadows to pounce and unleash its infectious beats on the unsuspecting public once more. And with albums like “See You In Hell,” it won’t be long before a new generation of music lovers everywhere start learning how to play the horns and upstroke riffs again.