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From AlaSKA to NebraSKA (And Also Further East, but There Are No Good Puns): We Ranked the Best Ska Band in Every State

New Mexico: Danny Winn and the Earthlings

Admittedly, most of what we know about New Mexico is from “Breaking Bad” but this band makes us think that some New Mexicans (yes, that’s the correct term) live regular lives filled with local shows and unrequited crushes. We still assume they’re all meth kingpins though.

New York: The Toasters

Two-tone Gods “The Toasters” hail from the Big Apple and come from a time when New York was still musically relevant. Sorry, garage rock revival doesn’t count. Anyway, you can thank The Toasters for their massive influence on the influx of ska bands making waves today.

North Carolina: Ska City

It may be pretty ballsy to call your band “Ska City” when you’re from Ashville. More like “Mountain City,” am I right? Asheville, North Carolina is one of the last bastions of hipster culture. We feel at home there. There are a handful of ska bands from North Carolina and “Ska City” is by far the only one with an embeddable link to their music.

North Dakota: The Ska-Skank Redemption

Slow. Clap. North Dakota does not disappoint. South Dakota may have Brock Lesnar, but North Dikky-Likky (the official state nickname) will always have The Ska-Skank Redemption.

Ohio: The Skashank Redemption

No, you’re not seeing double. Your eyes do not deceive you. You’re looking at two FANTASTIC ska band names in a row. Some people say all ska music sounds the same but here we can clearly see the diversity of thought in the genre. This band fucking rips by the way. Give them a listen. They’re like The Lawrence Arms meets The Hippos.

Oklahoma: The Big News

The Big News is the biggest thing to come out of Oklahoma ska since, well, nothing according to Google. Regardless, TBN brings a mix of two-tone and ’90s ska which makes them unique in the sense that they’re the only band on this list from Oklahoma.

Oregon: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Before anyone under the age of 30 starts freaking out, this band had a certified mainstream hit in 1997. That was during the “Attitude Era” of American culture and a lot of their lyrics were likely tongue-in-cheek. Undisputedly, however, the CPD’s are Oregon’s top ska/swing ensemble.

Pennsylvania: Catbite

Catbite is another up-and-coming ska band just bubbling below the surface of national notoriety. They represent the Keystone State as the best ska band in the land. Catbite makes fun, upbeat music, which is really saying something when you’re from the state where the town in Silent Hill is based. (Want a Catbite record? We have some in our store)

Rhode Island: The Copacetics

The Copacetics’ sound really puts the “Island” in “Rhode Island.” Based on how many rich kids in Orange County formed ska bands, it’s surprising there wasn’t a big ska scene where all those mansions are in Newport.

South Carolina: The Independents

The Independents are a ska-horror punk band, shooting straight out of the Palmetto state. They formed in 1992, which shows how ahead of their time they were, combining aspects of Operation Ivy and the Misfits in the early ’90s. Check them out.

South Dakota: N/A

There are literally none. If you are a ska band from South Dakota then let us know so you can be the state’s best ska band.

Tennessee: The Skalors

Swingy and catchy, the Skalors are one of many bands keeping the tradition of 3rd wave ska alive, with a major focus on musicianship. Oh, and they only play video game music covers. That’s a big part of their sound. Sick band, go listen.

Texas: The Suspects

The Suspects are a ’90s ska band, though they’re heavily influenced by two-tone and dub. The punk and metal influences are in there too along with a lot of funk and straightforward rock. This era of ska bands was overloaded with talent. They likely would have been bigger but, unfortunately, they’re from Texas where ska was punishable by death until 2008.

Utah: Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong (No, not Stretch Arm Strong the Christian hardcore band) is another seminal ska band that never received national recognition. Maybe that’s because of the oversaturization of the genre at the time. Maybe that’s because they’re from Utah. Shoutout Swim Herschel Swim by the way.

Vermont: The Skamaphrodites

This late ’90s swing/ska band may have gone overshadowed in their prime, but dammit they’ve earned their place atop the Green Mountain State. Sure, they wouldn’t be on the official ska Mount Rushmore, but they’d definitely be on the one in Vermont.

Virginia: Murphy’s Kids

Virginia must be for ska lovers because Murphy’s Kids beat out a number of incredible ska bands to be number one in the state. While they’re all great, this band gets the nod because they actually claim Virginia. Enough of this, “Umm we’re actually a D.C. band.” You live in Roanoke, calm down.

Washington: The Georgetown Orbits

Bringing classic ska-reggae from the 2000s and beyond, The Georgetown Orbits provide a relaxing vibe that apparently pairs well with the rainy, gray atmosphere of Seattle.

Washington D.C.: Kill Lincoln

Kill Lincoln is the district’s premiere ska-punk band. They bring a mix of 3rd wave and progressive ska and have been around for longer than most modern ska bands. They tour with a lot of the new tone bands and do a good job of rounding out the incredibly talented and diverse pool of ska bands going today. While there are lots of great DC ska bands, we can all at least admit that Washington DC isn’t technically a state so any comments complaining about this choice are void. (Pick up some Kill Lincoln records in our store right now)

West Virginia: The Company Stores

The Company Stores provide an eclectic array of genres and instruments, but swimming beneath this musical gumbo, lies a gooey checkered center.

Wisconsin: I Voted for Kodos

I Voted For Kodos is a top 25 all-time ska band that never got their due. Go listen to this slept-on band that has way more influence on today’s up-and-coming ska bands than people realize. Also, Simpsons references are the king when it comes to band names. Seth MacFarlane will never wear that crown.

Wyoming: It Gets Worse

Yet another band branding themselves as “The Only Ska Band From (state).” It Gets Worse combines two-tone and swing into a very dancy sound, which is super rebellious in Wyoming ever since they outlawed dancing in 2011 when the Footloose remake came out and the state’s teens blew a collective gasket.

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