State of Affairs: 1980-1983
004 = Madness + The English Beat + Special AKA
The Utah ska scene of the ’90s is fondly remembered (well… by some people), and the likes of Stretch Armstrong and My Man Friday have remained in the collective consciousness of local ska nerds over the years, but 004—quite possibly Utah’s first ska band—seems to have been forgotten. Hopefully, this great collection of 004’s music will rectify that injustice. 004’s sound is definitely a product of its time, strongly reflecting the British 2-Tone scene, but with a definite sense of vitality and strong implementation of reggae elements. “Dance Dance Dance” and “Evil Minds” would’ve fit in well alongside the tracks on the Dance Craze soundtrack, while “Limited War” injects some Gang of Four-like post-punk into the collection with its jagged rhythm and moody melodica. The band also created some great slower songs, particularly “Kind Love,” which captures the creepy vibe of The Specials’ “Ghost Town.” State of Affairs is a great listen, and definitely something that needs to be in any local ska fan’s collection—pick it up.