Californian Ska-Punks' 1996 album featuring 'Same In The End', 'Jailhouse' & 'Under My Voodoo'.
For all his tattoos and bulked-up frat-boy persona, singer Bradley Nowell had real soul, which made his fatal heroin overdose even more tragic. There's more to this Long Beach, California, trio's debut, released shortly after Nowell's death in 1996, than white suburban punks imitating Jamaican ska music. The band comes up with great songs, notably the catchy MTV hit "What I Got"; spooky dub-reggae undertones, produced by the Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary, to go with the snappy horns; and surprisingly progressive lyrics that attack sexism and other social ills, especially on "Wrong Way." Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone, obvious forebears, Sublime become slightly tiresome after 17 songs, but the band is great in short doses. --Steve Knopper