Mad Caddies “Punk Rocksteady” Review

Mad Caddies
“Punk Rocksteady”
Fat Wreck Chrords
Released : June 15, 2018

To think, when this  Mad Caddies album first found its way to me, I was hesitant as to what to expect from it. If I had known then what I know, that wouldn’t have been the case. Not by a long shot.

You see, my initial reaction to a ska band jamming out punk rock tunes was bemused at best. Finding out that the band themselves weren’t even the ones to select the songs to cover also set me off. Left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. The tracks selected to be given the Caddies treatment were assembled by Fat Wreck head honcho, Fat Mike. But I couldn’t help worry that it should be up the artist to make such a choice.

Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Turns out, all my worries were unfounded and turns out that I should rely more on my ears than on my wayward thoughts. This album, this Punk Rocksteady, this is bloody brilliant. This right here, is a gem. A diamond in the rough. A highlight of the year’s musical releases without doubt. Listen, you’re going to have to stop me because otherwise I’m just going to keep blurting out new ways to say this album is the dogs bollocks. The bees knees. La crème de la crème. Actually, you know what? Stop reading now and just buy the damned thing. Seriously. Get outta here!

See also : No Fun At All “Grit” Review

You people just don’t listen. Fine, lets talk Punk Rocksteady then. What we have here, are not so much cover songs but re-imaginings of well-known artists in the punk spectrum. Most are not easily discernable as being covers and for fun, I chose to listen the first few times without first looking over the track listing. This resulted in some happy moments as I realized what the songs were. Some, such as She, originally recorded by Green Day, or Sorrow by Bad Religion, were easy to pick out. Others stumped me.

The track I had the most trouble identifying soon became my favorite. I recognized the lyrical content but still failed to figure out who the original version was by. I was stumped and decided to cheat, and look at the song list. Sleep Long, by Operation Ivy. Little wonder why it was my favorite song amid this collection, and why the lyrics felt so familiar. With help from England’s The Skints. who are described by Clash Music as “the torchbearers for modern British reggae music”, the Caddies breath a whole new life into an already fantastic song.

However, this rendition is so great. Having been born and raised in South London, hearing The Skints rap Operation Ivy lyrics in that London twang is so, so soothing to the soul.  Even if the words are about hardship. Which is quite honestly something that I hadn’t picked up in all the years that I have been listening to Operation Ivy. That feeling is amplified here in the Mad Caddies version though, which is quite as fresh as a brand new track. Worth the cost of the record alone.

Honestly, there isn’t a bad track among the twelve selections on this album. Every song is perfect. This whole album fits that wording actually; perfect. This is a masterpiece. No doubt about it and no prancing about the bush. Some dance, I prance. The Mad Caddies have hit a grand slam out of the park here.

Pre-orders are currently selling out over at Fat Wreck, and let it be known, that anything those folks release will sell out. At least the fancy colored vinyl variants will.

For Fans Of : Streetlight Manifesto, Less Than Jake, Operation Ivy
Track Listing :

1. Sorrow (Bad Religion)
2. Sleep Long (Operation Ivy)
3. She (Green Day)
4. …And We Thought That Nation-States Were a Bad Idea (Propagandhi)
5. She’s Gone (NOFX)
6. AM (Tony Sly)
7. Alien 8 (Lagwagon)
8. Some Kinda Hate (Misfits)
9. 2RAK005 (Bracket)
10. Sink, Florida, Sink (Against Me!)
11. Jean Is Dead (Descendents)
12. Take Me Home (Piss Off) (Snuff)


Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability
Pros & Cons
  • Good vibes
  • Refreshing
  • Good tunes
  • ...nothing