Rudy's Return: Houston's Latest Ska Revival

Photo courtesy of Molotov Compromise
Molotov Compromise's Jeremy Pacheco
Billy Munoz wants to reassure you would-be skankers to just get on the dance floor and do your thing. He won't judge you.

"It doesn't matter what you look like as long as you're moving," he says. "The goofier the better. We feed off our audience."

Andrew Garrigan agrees.

"Is there really a way to skank that doesn't look a little wonky?" he asks.

Munoz and Garrigan are Houston musicians, both well-qualified to speak on the subject. They're members of area ska bands and both agree they are seeing more fans attempting to skank because they're seeing more fans at shows.

"From our perspective, with six years in the scene, we've definitely seen a rise in our local ska/punk movement," says Munoz, the towering yet suave frontman for Always Guilty. "And it's definitely because of the fact that we and all the other bands we play with put a lot of effort into making people move."

Garrigan is the drummer for Molotov Compromise, which formed in 2006. In his mind, Houston has long had a love affair with the genre.

"When I was like 14, I would go to Fitz with my friends and we would watch ska shows with like 20 bands on them and I always wondered where they all went," he says. "Either way, ska is making a resurgence and I think a lot of people are going to take notice."

People are taking notice, and not just in Houston. Molotov Compromise was tapped to perform on the main stage at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival later this month in Las Vegas. They'll share main-stage honors with Devo, Bad Religion, Flag (the Keith Morris-fronted band playing Black Flag songs) and others.

"What a great opportunity for us to get in trouble," Garrigan says. "We have never been more excited about a show before. We're doing our best to not lose our shit and get it together."

The hard work put in by himself and bandmates Jeremy Pacheco, Steven Jolly and James McDowell -- the bulk of which was done in Houston -- got them the gig, Garrigan adds.

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Look into the mid-2000s and some of the ska then that helped pave the way for some of the biggest Houston acts now. Dumbarton, former band of Wild Moccasins' Andrew Lee, and Brains for Dinner used to regularly play Walter's and Super Happy Funland with Fat Tony, Young Mammals and other acts. Seems like the roux for Houston's scene now.

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