MATAMOSKA! Brings Their Brand of 4th Wave SKACORE to The DOLL HUT

January 6, 2020 | By Jimmy Alvarez

Here we are in 2020, and it looks like music is evolving again. We all have different musical tastes for sure, but there’s no denying the fact that ska is on the comeback. The band that we hear just about everywhere these days is The Interrupters; their success didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it’s been a long-time in the making. For the Latino community, there’s another band that’s been working very hard and are about to blow, that band is Matamoska!

Truthfully, ska is a funny genre, it’s somewhat misunderstood, and it too is always evolving. When you ask most people, they think ska is an offshoot of reggae. It’s actually the other way around. Ska and reggae did come from Jamaica, that much is true…. but ska was first thanks to an artist named Prince Buster.  There were other artists and bands, but he was the originator. Ska came back to the mainstream in the 80’s in what is called the second wave of ska. Bands like Madness, The Specials, Selecter, and the beat led the way. 

It was the late 80’s that really was the transitional period for third wave punk-ska. Tim Armstrong and his band Operation Ivy had a big influence on the road ska would take.  There were also two bands that were instrumental in the development of a sub-genre called skacore. Those bands are the Mighty Might Bosstones and Voodoo Glow Skulls.

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(The Mighty Mighty Bosstones | Photo by Cameron Schuyler Photography)

The Bosstones were the originators of the skacore sub-genre, they hit it big in 1997 with a song titled, the Impression that I get. Then again, for Latinos, they related a little more to Voodoo, and they embraced them. So-much-so, they are still well received and headline many Latino-based skacore festivals. Don’t get me wrong, there were some heavy duty lifting done by other ska bands like Reel Big Fish, Sublime and No Doubt, but for Latino skacore, Voodoo led the way.

(Insubordination off their album titled, WHO IS, THIS IS?)

So why is it so important to single this out? The reason is that one of the most thriving music communities throughout the world is the skacore sub-culture.  There are a lot of great skacore bands everyone on the planet, but one that is heavily respected calls SoCal home, that band is Matamoska!

Hailing from Montebello, Matamoska! was created during the infancy stage of the ghetto ska-punk movement, in November 2000. The band is comprised of musicians with a very diverse taste in music, which leads to their signature sound and bi-lingual lyrics (Spanish / English). Their sound is electric, and booming. They have evolved form that band that played backyard parties,  venue shows that featured some of the top punk, metal, hardcore, sXe, crust / grind, psychobilly, garage, reggae, rock en espanol, and ska bands around.

The band currently features Jose Padilla (rhythm guitar | lead vocals), Hector Rivera (bass), Esteban Flores (keys  backing vocals), the horn section is comprised of Jovan Loera (sax), Ivan Lopez trumpet), and Robert Verdugo (trombone). Ernesto Ocampo subs in as lead guitarist frequently and rounding out the band is Richard Sanchez (drums). Their sonic vision has led them to work with some of the heavyweights in the world of ska. They have even worked with Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legends producer David Irish.

Not only have they worked with top notch producers, they’ve played some of the most legit venues with all the big names in ska.  They’ve shared the stage with cats like Voodoo, The Slackers, Reel Big Fish, Mustard Plug and international acts like Ska-P and Los Pericos.  Needless to say, Matosmoska! brings a credibility that money just can’t buy.  It should come as no surprise their music can be heard on radio stations from coast-to-coast and around the world. Their uber-hit Beer Goggles remains a fan favorite.

(Beer Goggles from the album titled, M is for Murder)

Like most bands with any kind of longevity there have been some lineup changes, and even some down time, but overall, the core group remains intact and they are having fun, something else that’s evident and money can’t buy the joy you see when they play.

Back in 2017, the band released Skalluminati, the album debuted during the summer they played a legendary set at Viva Ska Vegas. People still talk about the passion when they played East LA, a song that has also become a fan favorite.

(East L.A. from the album titled, Skaluminati)

Today at their shows, fans scream for other hit songs like El Jefe de Ska, Mario Bros Before Hoes, Doom Boogie, Grandmaster Smash, De Verdad, Turned Into a Martian (Misfits cover) and El Coyote. Truthfully, the music is the draw, but their energy and passion for their music engulfs their fans an draws in newcomers. That’s the other things about Matamoska!, despite being a 4th wave skacore band, you can hear elements in all their music that would make Prince Buster, Voodoo and Reel Big Fish smile. 

If you want to see a very cool band before they n;ow up, check out Matamoska! They’re playing a great show January 10th at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. Some of the other acts you can catch include Gabriela Penka, Los Cedejos, Dropcase, and Saucy Creg. It’s going to be a very good night for music in Anaheim.

(Banner Provided by Esteban Flores Valenzuela)

For More Information on this show and anything MATAMOSKA!