Hepcat Push 'n Shove

This fourth release by the premiere L.A. trad-ska group is another triumph in the fight to preserve the original beauty and integrity of the '60s Jamaican sound. Following the path laid down by the Skatalites, Desmond Dekker and the Pioneers, Hepcat remain true to their already dizzyingly impressive form in this entirely satisfying and powerful album. Mixing ska with its earlier influences, including American R&B, jazz and calypso, the album is a soulful tribute to fun, easy living and love - things that Hepcat know and do so well. While somewhat toned down from 1997's Right On Time, and minus vocalist Alex Desert, who appears as guest vocalist on several tracks, Push 'n Shove is nevertheless strong enough to take on any contenders for a prime spot on this year's top album list. The ten original compositions are accompanied by fine covers of Lord Funny' "Tek Dat" and Brenton Woods' "The Sign," all performed with the unique Hepcat flair. (Hellcat)