8. Third Wave Ska
A considerably more rock-oriented spin-off of the classic Jamaican Ska genre, third wave ska quickly enjoyed a great deal of commercial success during the mid 90s. Third wave ska bloomed from the American punk scene initially and rarely enjoyed the more traditional sound of its Jamaican predecessor.
While traditional ska has been a fixture of Jamaican music since the 50s and helped inspire various genres (including reggae), third wave enjoyed only a brief spell of success. Acts such as Rancid (often credited with being third wave ska’s first major success), Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Less Than Jake hit it big with listeners, wowing them with a heavy reliance on expansive horn sections and grand scale guitar riffs.
Hot new acts such as No Doubt further bolstered the budding genre’s popularity into the late 90s. By 1996, third wave ska had become a fixture of the alternative rock scene. Seemingly without any real explanation, however, the scene dropped out of the mainstream as the 21st century rolled in. In 2020, it has almost disappeared entirely and left little influence in its wake.