The Toasters at Carroponte, Milano, Italy

If you haven’t heard of The Toasters, then I don’t know what to tell you. If you don’t like ska, two-tone, or ska-punk, then I advise you not to read any further without doing a search for The Toasters. Then, come back to read this review because you will want to see them when they come touring around your parts. They aren’t topping the charts now-a-days. They’re not appearing on Jimmy Fallen or Carson Daly, but I guarantee that if they came out with a new album they’d make an appearance on Conan. They are the innovators of the third wave ska movement in the US, and they’ve been touring and putting out albums since probably before you were born.

The Toasters now-a-days consist of only one original member, Robert “Bucket” Hingley, but looking at the band play now you’d think these guys have been playing together since 1981–if the age range of players didn’t look like it was from 21-58. They kill it as a team. The brass is crispy and on point. The percussion is powerful and moving. The bass-line is consistent and steady, and the guitar riffs are hypnotizing and chill. The energy that they exuded onto this Italian crowd was contagious; everyone caught a bug of the skank, and began moving and bouncing to the music in a synchronized manner.

If you grew up listening to bands like No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Skankin Pickle and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, then hopefully you sunk your teeth deeper into the two-tone and ska-punk movement and loved The Toasters. If you listened to the likes of The Clash, The Specials, Sex-Pistols, and Buzzcocks, you may have only experimented with The Toasters, but you probably liked it.  If you liked NSYNC, New Kids on the Block and Hanson, then stop reading this. Leave now and never come back. The Toasters aren’t an acquired taste, but a pre-programed “like” that you’re body can’t resist. Their blend of Reggae and Punk has influenced everyone from Sublime to Major Lazer. If you didn’t get on the boat at an early age, it’s ok. There’s still plenty of room.

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