Delegates The Diary of Hamilton Fish

If the fish skeletons fashioned into a Fred Perry laurel artwork on the CD jacket wasn’t enough of a clue as to where this Montreal sextet finds their influences, then certainly a few seconds of the band’s latest disc will. They offer up a tasty serving of horned-up punk/ska/pop that immediately recalls Fishbone, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Rocket from the Crypt with a healthy dose of the Clash’s world view and a Mod culture sensibility. A concept album of sorts, this sophomore release follows the trials and tribulations of the title character as he copes with lost love and trying to make it in the world. But unlike so many recent ska punk bands (Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, etc.), the Delegates know how to mix things up musically so they aren’t simply rehashing the same songs over and over — a common problem with most bands of the genre. This is a thundering record with heart, soul and brains from a band worth watching. (Bankshot)