Desmond Dekker was a Jamaican musician who had been around since the early days of ska. He died of a heart attack in 2006. A must for the serious ska collector.
Hepcat is a rocksteady/ska band from southern California formed in 1989. This, their first album was on Moon records, which back then was the ska label with almost all the good two-tone bands of the time… And Hepcat.
They came out of L.A. playing what I would describe as traditional ska with a strong rocksteady influence. But they were a new band playing new songs using modern recording equipment. On this first album they sound like the lost band from 1960’s Jamaica, but encompassing the musical styles of the entire decade. A truly incredible album, another that can be left on repeat, undoubtedly a classic.
It was musically such a strong album that it was impossibe for the band to produce another work that was even equal to Out of Nowhere. Their subsequent albums are all good but they do stand in it’s shadow. Besides for that the rocksteady influence became a touch too strong. (Rocksteady differs from ska by being built around the “one drop” drum beat, characterized by a heavy accent on the second and fourth bars” (Wiki). )
Enjoy and next week I’ll review the brand new (came out this month) Skatalites album.