Over the past 20 years, the Mad Caddies have made music that slipped between genre lines, and with Punk Rocksteady, they offer up a record of punk covers that shows the band is more than capable of taking all that piss and vinegar and turning it into something beautiful. Recorded at San Francisco's Motor Studios with Fat Mike serving as producer, as well as its spiritual guide, the Mad Caddies got to bring one of Mike's pet projects to life. "We had a grand vision that we needed to have four-to-six sounds on here," says vocalist Chuck Robertson. "We needed to have traditional ska, super horn-heavy dancehall songs, reggae, SoCal stuff, and we needed to have something new and weird that we could make our own."
In order to make Punk Rocksteady diverse, the band labored over picking songs that could be interpreted in ways that would feel new and exciting, but still retain the spirit of the originals. From pulling vintage soul music sounds out of The Misfits "Some Kind Of Hate," or giving the Descendents deep cut "Jean Is Dead" a reggae strut, some of punk's genre-defining bands are remade at the hands of the Mad Caddies. "If the song's good, it can be played in any genre and do the song justice," says Robertson, and it's true listening to Punk Rocksteady, as the band's approach shows the limitless potential of the source material, turning Against Me!'s "Sink, Florida, Sink" into a horn-laced joyride and giving the staunch ska-haters Propagandhi a send-up that even they couldn't deny.
"We wanted this to be a cohesive album that, even if you're not a fan of punk, you could throw on and enjoy," says Robertson. And for punks that are dubious of reggae, it gives them a new view of the songwriting chops of some of their favorite bands.