The Pietasters first came to my attention when one of their songs was featured on a video game a few years ago. Since then I have found it difficult to get my hands on this CD and I didn’t know of anybody who had heard of them, much less liked their music. But I finally got my hands on a copy and Willis by the Pietasters, released in 1997, is a good example that the best bands are sometimes the hardest to find.
Hailing from the same ska-punk tradition established by bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Pietasters expand on the ska-punk theme while maintaining a traditional ska feel. The opening track, entitled “Crazy Monkey Woman,” is very much a punk song. The second song, “Out All Night,” is a catchy ska tune with some definitey Bosstone influence. This is the song that got me turned onto them in the first place.
This CD is balanced out by the traditiona ska feel the Pietasters bring into their songs. “Higher” is a good example of a traditional ska song. It’s got a great reggae feel, which gives you a break from the manic melodies present throughout the CD. A couple of tracks later, the Pietasters bring it out again in “Whithout You.” This track makes me want to go to the beach. It brings out a traditional ska feel while sticking to a more modern 3rd wave feel.
Willis ends with another more traditional tune, rounding out an excellent album. Whether you prefer a ska-punk feel, a 3rd wave feel, or a traditional feel, this ska album offers a little bit of everything. Anybody who enjoys ska and grew up in the 90’s will love this CD without question.