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The Toasters

Moon Records

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The heyday of the ska revival is long past, but bands like the Toasters are keeping the faith. Dub 56, the fifth release from the New York septet, neither surprises nor disappoints. The disc leads off with an awkwardly slick use of brass and sax on “Direction” and “Mona,” but the remainder of Dub is devoted to traditional ska. Lead singer Coolie Ranx puts the “toast” in Toasters with skillful vocal work on “Dancin” and “Goody Goody,” while the disc’s capable instrumentals include “Tunisia,” which sports a hint of jazz, and “Marlboro Man,” whose horn solos and use of vocals as a rhythm instrument recall Madness. The rhythm guitar and organ syncopation of “Little Hidden Secrets” is awfully similar to that of the English Beat’s “Two Swords,” but then any band that follows such a basic recipe is bound to sound derivative.