The O.C. Supertones - Adventures of the O.C. Supertones
Music You Might Want to Consider - O
There was this weird period between 1997 and, 1999, where you couldn’t escape a music genre that blended pop punk with a brass section. Bands like No Doubt1 and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones2 broke through to the mainstream, and all of a sudden you had a bunch of other ska bands - Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, Five Iron Frenzy. So. Much. Ska.
The Christian Market took too long to embrace ska, for the most part. But that’s not new. By the time ska had it’s run in the mainstream, the major distributors discovered bands like The W’s, and the O.C. Supertones.
I’ll confess: I didn’t fully grab on to ska. You wouldn’t have seen me in the standard ska uniform of checkerboard pants and fedora. I was more into grunge and alt-rock.
But as I’ve mentioned before, I was also really into the Tooth & Nail record label. So, when I saw The Adventures of the O.C. Supertones at the Christian bookstore, I gave them a shot.
It was fun. Unlike their later offerings3, their debut record had a raw, underground feel. It felt like you’d hear them play in a sweaty club with a bunch of your peers, skanking4 the night away. Tooth & Nail was known for this sort of thing early on, so it fit right in with their catalog.
What was different about them was that they were unapologetically a Christian band. Songs like “Adonai”, “Heaven”, and “Exalt” could have easily fit into any youth group lock in worship band’s set.
The album also flies by - every song is upbeat, positive, and fun. And clocking in at only 37 minutes, it warranted multiple repeat plays when I was working nights at the local convenient store back in 1997.
Is ska dead? No, but it’s definitely not the most popular genre these days. But it still has its fans. You gotta respect their devotion.
But not their checkered pants.
I contend that No Doubt isn’t ska at all, but I’ve seen so many articles that cite them as ska, so I guess they must be?
I heard the Bosstones for the first time around 1993, when they were featured in a skateboarding video. I dug it. But since I had zero way of finding their music in my small rural town, I didn’t learn much about them until a long time after.
The only other Supertones album I bought and listened to regularly is Chase the Sun, which is the polar opposite of their first record; it’s as polished as their horns were.
I absolutely hate that this is a real term for a real dance. I never understood it and never will.