In the '90s, ska once again gave trenchant teens a new outlet. The melodic, horn-accompanied sound and straight-from-their-angry-little-hearts lyrics allowed teens to sing and skank away their angst. California's Reel Big Fish were a huge part of the third-wave ska scene, and two decades later, like so many other punk and ska bands, they have stood the test of time.
Though probably best known for "Sell Out," the 1997 single that led them to mainstream success, they also do covers of songs that are so lively, unexpected and funny, they're often as memorable as the originals. As soon as A-Ha's "Take On Me," Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly" and Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" received the RBF treatment, they took on a whole new horn-happy, up-tempo life.
On their latest album release, 2009's Fame, Fortune and Fornication, Reel Big Fish do what has become their specialty and play homage to a surprising array of musicians, including Poison ("Nothin' But a Good Time"), John Mellencamp ("Authority Song"), Van Morrison ("Brown Eyed Girl") and The Eagles ("The Long Run"). Not to mention, a nod to the second-wave ska fathers, The English Beat ("Twist and Crawl").
Friday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, $12.50-$35. Knitting Factory, 416 S. Ninth St., boknittingfactory.com.