In the wake of ska's newfound, mainstream popularity (as well as Moon Ska Records' commitment to the genre) veteran bands like Bad Manners are enjoying a much-delayed reawakening of interest.
"Heavy Petting," their 14th release, runs the gamut from the traditional upbeat ska of "Feel Like Jumping" to the reggae-heavy rhythms of the title track. In "Lager Delirium," the band seems to have ska's answer to "Louie Louie" -- the upbeat melody driven by a drunken chorus of incoherent shouting -- and they explore instrumental excursions on "Don't Knock the Baldheads" and "Red River Ska."
Bolstered by a dynamic horn section, "Heavy Petting" proves to be a good listen for old-school or new-school fans. As the liner notes state, "Bad Manners didn't need any introduction, as they never left."