In general, white people trying to do ska and reggae make for a lot of embarrassment, in my humble white ass opinion. There are some exceptions to this rule, the most immediate being the late, great, magical Joe Strummer (may he rest in peace), and former Operation Ivy guitarist, current Rancid co-frontman, Tim Armstrong. His latest project falls under the name Tim Timebomb and represents a wide arrange of musical genres and cover songs, from Cock Sparrer to The Specials to Tom Waits, as well as reinterpretations of songs from his past as country and ska tunes. Here, Tim performs ska legend Prince Buster’s “30 Pieces of Silver” and The Faces’ “Ooh La La.” I would like these tracks even if I didn’t know the originals, but listening to them had resounding effects. After hearing and enjoying them, I went back to listen to the originals, then listened to the Timebomb versions again, then spent some more time listening to more of Tim’s latest work. You would have time well spent if you did the same.
–John Mule (Hellcat / Pirates Press)