Third-wave ska bands have the benefit of hindsight. They can cherry-pick the best bits from the Jamaican innovators, the British two-tone revivalists and the American ska-punk hybrid acts. Strictly Rude
, the latest full-length from Boston's Big D and the Kids Table
, makes no secret of the band's love of horn-based, rude-boy ska. Several of the tracks recall the clipped, harmonically intricate horn charts of Oingo Boingo, while singer David McWane's use of the melodica, along with his echo-effected vocals, gives a knowing nod to their dub-reggae forefathers. While it's easy to hear traces of ska's history in these songs, the streetwise lyrics and relaxed flow of the album keep the band from becoming a tribute act.