Review Summary: This is your brain on ska.
Listening to ska music is no ordinary experience. It almost seems to create a feeling of warmth and comfort in the listener with its undeniably cheerful nature. Although the genre has existed in some form or another since the late 50’s, it has never been as downright fun as it was in the 90’s. As the third-wave of ska was reaching the US, bands like Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were making huge waves with their eccentric take on ska. However, during this time many people overlooked one of the most enjoyable, uniquely-named bands to ever emerge from the genre. This band is, of course, Mustard Plug.
Formed out of Michigan in the early 90’s, Mustard Plug were easily one of the most enjoyable third-wave ska bands. They possessed all the qualities one would expect from the genre at the time, from the blaring trumpets and trombones to the often humorous lyrics. However, of all their albums none of them can quite match the consistency or energy of 1997’s Evildoers Beware!
Released by Hopeless Records, their third effort is full of confidence and it stands proud as a definite turning point for the band.
Although Mustard Plug were still relatively unknown with the release of their sophomore album, they finally got the attention they deserved with the release of Evildoers Beware!
It’s not hard to see why it remains a fan favorite as it’s packed with some of the most lively, over-the-top songs the band have written in their career. Tracks like ‘Box’ and ‘Mendoza’ are full of loud trumpets and contain some truly addicting choruses. However, it’s not just the vibrant trumpets that give these songs such an enjoyable sound. The bass is surprisingly audible throughout the album as well and the electric guitars are used sparingly alongside the horns which helps enhance the band’s sound. Thankfully, the band also have a very unique vocalist who proves to be the perfect fit for the genre. His voice is full of attitude and a level of quirkiness that helped shape Mustard Plug’s sound.
Like beer" Well so do Mustard Plug and this album also happens to be the home of one of the band’s most alcohol inspired tracks in the form of ‘The Beer Song.’ Not only is it one of the album’s best offerings, but it’s quite simply one of the most outgoing, ridiculously fun songs of the band’s career. It’s exactly the kind of ska song that seems to overtake your brain and enhance your mood with its upbeat, encouraging sound.
For those who have yet to experience the awesomeness that is Mustard Plug, Evildoers Beware!
is the perfect place to start with the band. It’s perhaps their most addictive album to date and is bound to excite the listener with some of the band’s biggest songs. Not only is it an important album for the band, but it’s an influential album for ska music in general that shouldn’t be overlooked.