For years, I was a pretty big fan of the ska-punk — a genre that aimed to marry punk's energy to ska's rocksteady vibe — until, at one point in my late teens, I decided that I detested ska and ska-punk and tossed out all my previous feelings for the genre. Want a ska-punk hit? Do some up-stroking during the verse and toss in a power-chord chorus. It was a touch too formulaic for my increasingly self-important taste. Of course, I later realized how awesome original two-tone ska was, and I grew extremely fond of stuff like the Specials, Madness, and their historical forefathers, like Prince Buster and The Skatelites. The Expendables, who will play the Marquee this week, play a feel good combination of ska, punk and surf rock, and though I once would have completely written off their latest record, Prove It, now I'll concede that it's a catchy disc, with some great melodies and plenty of frat boy appeal. I'm sure they put on a fun show, but their tour-mates John Brown's Body are more my speed, with a more traditional style but still plenty enough crossover appeal to satisfy the Natural Ice-swilling bozos who will undoubtedly be out in full force.
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