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    Album Reviews: Adicción, Tradición, Revolución by Voodoo Glow Skulls

    Voodoo Glow Skulls are well aware that some people are over the whole ska thing. They even canonize one of the detractors of their beloved genre (a band member’s girlfriend) on “DD Don’t Like Ska.” It’s a playful standout on their latest album, in which they continue to infuse their roots in Mexican music into a speedy brand of SoCal ska-punk. In a time of downsizing, they’ve added a third horn, resulting in a septet with apparently boundless energy. It’s clear why they were a formative influence on such fellow Californians as No Doubt.

    Carrying on in their bilingual tradition -- three of the album's songs are sung in Spanish -- the Glow Skulls tackle a variety of usual targets, from the government to the music industry. Their multi-hybrid sound also gets quite manic, as on “Disaster,” an apocalyptic punk rant that is reminiscent of the madmen in The Goblins (“Disaster! Disaster! You’re flirting with disaster!”). Frank Casillas has never had a “pretty” voice, and 16 years in the band hasn’t given him any polish. It also hasn’t mellowed him any; he’s as rambunctious as ever, though he and the band wisely offer a few lighter, swinging ska songs (“Smile Now, Cry Later”) to offset the speed and aggression.

    Their choice for a cover this time is Guns 'N Roses' immortally aggravated “Used To Love Her,” which in its ska reinvention sounds a lot happier than it probably should. The mid-song break into “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is a nice touch. - Adam McKibbin

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