Afterbeat Personals

Does anyone remember what wave of ska we are on? For Manitoba’s the Afterbeat, at least, it really doesn’t matter. Judging by the sounds of their debut LP, give them a dance floor filled with merry skankers and forget whether or not ska is hip this week. The Afterbeat represent all that we’ve come to love and expect from a ska band: first, a great name (and one that doesn’t even bastardise the word ska — wow); second, a seven-piece, complete with a horn section troupe of midnight revellers whose only desire is to give you a cardio workout; and third, straight ahead brisk-tempo ska songs drawing from both the origins and the offspring of ska. Expertly produced by another ska-head, Greg "Milka” Crowe, Personals is a strong start for a band bound to make their mark. Standout tracks include balls to the wall skanker "Together Strong” (dropping a spring reverb in the middle of a song can never be a bad thing), "It Doesn’t Matter,” complete with an addictive horn riff, and the impossibly funky reggae of "Girl I Need.” (Bacteria Buffet)