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Ska punk
Stylistic origins Ska - Reggae - 2 Tone - Punk rock - Hardcore punk
Cultural origins 1980s, United States and United Kingdom
Typical instruments electric guitar, electric bass guitar, trumpet, tenor trombone, tenor saxophone, drums
Mainstream popularity Highest in late 1990s United States; internationally to a lesser extent
(complete list)
Other topics
List of ska musicians

Ska punk is a fusion music genre that combines ska and punk rock. It achieved its highest level of commercial success in the United States in the late 1990s. Ska-core (sometimes spelled skacore) is a subgenre of ska punk, blending ska with hardcore punk.

The characteristics of ska punk vary, due to the fusion of contrasting genres. The more punk-influenced style often features faster tempos, guitar distortion, onbeat punk rock-style interludes (usually the chorus), and punk-style vocals. The more ska-influenced style of ska punk features a more developed instrumentation and a cleaner vocal and musical sound. The common instrumentation includes electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, brass instruments (such as trombones or trumpets), and sometimes an organ.


Ska and punk rock were first combined during the 2 Tone movement of the late 1970s, by bands such as The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, and Madness. The fusion of the two genres became more prevalent in the 1980s, during the third wave of ska.

Operation Ivy formed in 1987 and received positive responses in the East Bay area of San Francisco.[citation needed] One of the first appearances of the term ska-core was in the title of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 1993 album Ska-Core, the Devil, and More. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones appeared in the movie Clueless, and their 1997 album Let's Face It went platinum.[citation needed] Less than Jake's song "We're All Dudes" appeared in the 1997 Nickelodeon film Good Burger.[citation needed] Save Ferris appeared in the film 10 Things I Hate About You, and Reel Big Fish appeared on BASEketball.[citation needed] Buck-O-Nine's music appeared in the films The Big Hit and Homegrown.[citation needed]

Between 1999 and 2001, many ska punk bands began to break up, while fans of the genre turned their attention to other music genres. Some bands that were originally part of the ska punk genre, such as The Aquabats and Mustard Plug, continued with less emphasis on horns and traditional ska rhythms, and have not achieved the same commercial success that they experienced earlier in their careers. Many of these bands have begun working on other projects with other genres of music, specifically punk rock.

See also

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