welcome back to the Skaject folks! today we’re looking at Skankin’ Pickle’s second studio record, Skankin’ Pickle Fever, released in 1992.

Hussein Skank is a p solid opener. i really like the horn stings and the way they lead into the guitar struts in the opener and in the “choruses” but the rhythm/drum thing they do afterwards and the verses are a little weaker to me. also very interesting because Saddam Hussein held a very different place in culture in 1992 than he does today. Pseudo Punk is riffing very hard on Dead Kennedy’s (i mean, Jello is the first person he name drops), and its a bit illuminating hearing him callout Danny Elfman because i absolutely do see the humor inspirations, even if the musical inspirations are a bit more tenuous. Silly Willy is a surprisingly fun, ngl. some parts of this really call to me but i dunno. some of the lyrics keep me from really digging it, and not in a bad way just in a “not for me” way. the fast, frantic energy of Ice Cube, Korea Wants a Word With You is excellent. this is a response to “Black Korea”, a track off of his 1991 recors Death Certificate. Toothless and Grey kicks ass. huge fan of this song. the vocal performance by Lynette Knackstedt here works really well, and i think the rest of the band is firing on all cylinders. no notes, excellent song. Pass You By is the much more obvious Boingo inspired song, haha. a really fun track with a stellar horn hook and fun, energetic vocals. Dub has a kinda slow start but i really like the bass and guitar on this song. Song #3 is a track about making music – nice, if a lil short. Whatever Happened is another new-wavier track, and this one took a lil longer to grow on me but it def did. Anxiety Attack is extremely smooth. huge fan of Anxiety Attack – up there with Toothless and Grey in terms of being near the top of the record for me. Skinless Friend is a frenetic track calling out a racist – good song. Larry Smith has some incredibly bright horns, and goes for a more laid back sound. p solid song. also the style of that rap bridge is uhhhh funny. I Missed the Bus is a song about missing the bus. another incredibly good song. really strong revival ska sounds on this one that i really like. i only know one song from further in their discography, but i def hear early sketches of that song in this one. Roland Alphonso Dub featutes Roland Alphonso of the Skatalites on a lower tempo, noodley, sax driven song. very nice. Hand Twister brings the tempo right back up and puts Knackstedt back in vocals for an extremely pleasant song. David Duke Is Running For President is brings an excellent energy to a song thats more just upset at the title than anything else. very good deep cut here. Hit My Brain is the our closer – a weird funky, fun way to round things out.

faves – Toothless and Grey, Pass You By, Dub, Whatever Happened, Anxiety Attack, Skinless Friend, I Missed the Bus
dislikes –

this record is really interesting, because i felt really middling on it for like three listens and then a lot of it really grew on me. i feel like a lot of the thoughts i have are still very much cooking, and probably will be for a long time, because a lot of stuff i know from future ska, specifically the Aquabats, Suburban Legends, and to a lesser extent Reel Big Fish, are riffing almost the exact same way this record is.

its also really interesting because it, much like their previous record, FEELS like a record made by really young folks. there’s some incredible moments on most of the songs here, and in some cases it just doesnt connect right with pieces around it, or feels a little scattered, or just too juvenile. i honestly feel like if they had adjusted the opening of the record it would have been a really strong improvement.

that being said, the parts that hit do so extremely well – the run between Toothless and Grey and Missed the Bus feels like it coulda been an extremely strong release by itself, haha.

either way, def check this out if you like any of the bands i mentioned at the top of the recap – lotta sounds that would inspire them on really good display hefe.

Skankin’ Pickle Fever – 7/10

next week, we’re checking out No Doubt’s self-titled debut record!

previous: More Noise and Other Disturbances | next: No Doubt

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