Ska's been having a big moment lately, but it's not "back" because it never left. There were plenty of great bands in between the time the third wave died down and this current movement began gaining steam, like Long Island's The Fad, whose 2007 sophomore LP Kill Punk Rock Stars is a truly essential ska-punk classic. The Fad aren't super active these days (they re-emerged in the late '10s with a new EP and a song on Bad Time Records' The Shape of Ska Punk to Come: Volume 1 comp but seem to have quieted down again), but vocalist Jimmy Doyle (also of Let Me Crazy and The Forthrights) is now set to release a solo album, Going Gray, which he made with Catbite members Tim Hildebrand (guitar) and Brittany Luna (keys, backing vocals), producer/bassist Ian Farmer (Modern Baseball and Slaughter Beach, Dog), and Lame-O Records founder/Cherry member Eric Osman on drums.

Jimmy cites power pop influences like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe and Blondie on this album, and you can definitely hear those influences coming through on the catchy, revved-up lead single "For Damn Sure." Jimmy says:

After my bands The Fad, The Forthrights & Let Me Crazy all broke up, I dealt with a slap in the face by reality & found myself in a place of uncertainty, fear & a general sense of feeling lost. I told myself I was too old to do this anymore, that I wasn't good enough & every other excuse in the book.

Cut to late 2018, my father passed away & although I wish more than anything he had lived to see this, it was a much needed kick in the ass to do what I was too scared to do all along, I got my life together. I got a rehearsal space & wrote some songs with my buddy Ben McIssac to fill out the album. I was gifted a KORG d1600 mkII, bought some mics & set about making demos. A mix of songs I had been sitting on for years, a Forthrights tune that was too good to let drift into obscurity & the songs I wrote with Ben. I reached out to Ian Farmer & Eric Osman, who I had discussed making this record with five years earlier. Then I asked Tim Hildebrand to play guitar & Brittany Luna to play keyboards & sing backup vocals.

We rehearsed the songs at The Metal Shop, Ian's studio in Philly in November 2019 & then did initial tracking there in February. My partner Kay McCaney took photos of us & filmed part of the recording which became the music video for this song. We wrapped tracking in late February 2020 & then... well, the world fell apart. I received the masters from Ryan Schwabe in July 2020 & like everyone else in the world, didn't know what to do or what would happen next. But here we are, May 2021 & these songs are FINALLY starting to see the light of day. FOR DAMN SURE & the rest of the album are inspired by power-pop/new wave artists like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe & Blondie. It's a perfect style of music with pop sensibility but the rawness of punk rock & I hope that even a shred of that comes off with these songs. Thanks for listening & I can't wait to share the rest of the record with y'all.

Stay tuned for more on this LP, and watch the video for "For Damn Sure" below...

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