March 22, 2007

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Oreskaband, Ore
Sony Records, 2007

At this writing the South By Southwest Music Conference (aka SXSW) in Austin, TX is bearing down on us, bringing with it a monster tsunami of hurried releases from the alt-rock hopefuls who’ll be showcasing there. Sony, no altie label at all, should rightfully be persona non grata at such affairs, but given that Oreskaband is a six-pack of Japanese teenybopper girls they could probably sneak John Tesh by security to do a set. Yessir, picture the Gatorade-barrels of drool the Debbie Gibson-stalking Chuck Eddy would be dumping over their heads if he hadn’t been canned by Village Voice. Spittle aside, Oreskaband’s herky-jerky ska-bubble is an acquired taste, pucker-mouth candy for the ears, and indeed their scary-sounding single “Yeah! Ska Dance” soundtracked the commercial for the scary-sounding Japanese candy “Pocky,” so right there you shouldn’t be thinking gloomy artistes contemplating utensil-drawer-invading centipedes or somesuch. Cripes are they happy and sunny, flashing peace signs, revealing their blood types in their respective baseball-card-length bios on the insert. Ska legend Rico Rodriguez contributed trombone to a cover of “Monkey Man,” in case that makes up your mind. C+ Eric W. Saeger