America hasn't been particularly good to ska. Indeed, reggae's dancier, spazzier cousin may have met its Waterloo here back in the late '90s, when No Doubt started channeling Miami Sound Machine and fellow domestic acts like Reel Big Fish proved incapable of sustaining modern ska as a relevant alt-music lifeform. Finally, at long last, The Aggrolites are here to make amends. With its infectious, stripped-down "skinhead raggae" sound, this Los Angeles-based quintet could, in fact, be resurrecting ska in the very land where Gwen Stefani and Co. once nailed it to the Top 40 cross. As the name suggests, this is a band built on a pleasant dichotomy: "aggro" enough to inspire a healthy sweat during one of their rollicking live shows; "light" enough to play at your next barbecue. Supporting their fourth studio album — titled, logically, IV — they certainly look the part of modern-day ska revivalists, sporting top-to-bottom black attire to go with their Madness-meets-Marley hooks. All that's missing is a place to park your Vespa.
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