Best Ska / Ska Punk Bands

Less Than Jake? Reel Big Fish? Sublime? Streetlight Manifesto? This list aims to find out who the king or queen is of all ska and ska punk bands!

The Top Ten

1 Streetlight Manifesto

Streetlight manifesto is the best hands down.
Most other ska bands are pretty lacking on horn parts, but streetlight not only has great horn parts it blends them so well with the singing and guitars.
Their lyrics are phenomenal(enough said)
And their songs aren't just the same stuff over and over again, they differ from one another, and ALL sound incredible.

Such an amazing band. On my top 5 of all time! Tomas's lyrics are incredible deep and sometimes even purposefully ambiguous and the horn players are some of the most talented I've ever heard. Catchy, meaningful, and muscly complex but not overwhelming. Perfect!

Streetlight manifesto are the best, don't know why it isn't 1st! Some of their songs have actual meaning! Which is really hard to do in a ska song, like A better place, a better time is really inspiring; and I just don't think any other ska band can measure up to that. Even being a girl I love streetlight, and I don't get that from any other ska band! They're lyrics are awesome, and no-one can measure up to that! STREETLIGHT ALL THE WAY

Nothing beats these guys, every single album is a masterpiece with my favorite being Somewhere in the between, they are the best ska band at creating emotional horn sections, Toh kays acoustic covers are also fantastic and a must if you want to listen to his amazing lyrics

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2 Sublime Sublime Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh.

Sublime is by far my most favorite and missed band. It just isn't the same without Brad (Sorry Rome). This should be #1. Whenever I hear this style of music my mind automatically goes straight to Sublime. If only Brad was still alive I think Sublime would have ended becoming even more popular and who knows what new albums would have come out!

Duh... This one is a no brainer. Brad invented a type of music that no one can copy. He mixed so many genres together into something great. Aggressive punks can enjoys as well as people who like to kick back. Sublime is indeed amazing

I think Bradley Nowell should be on list of most missed musicians! He was very talented! I rank him up there with Kurt anyway!

This was my teenage years I loved it and would never change thing too bad the lead singer was addicted to a horrible drug that ended up taking his life... some of us sober up and some of us end up doing it the rest of are lived n eventually dying from it unfortunately I've lost too many friends to that same drug that took Brad's life

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3 Reel Big Fish

Simply awesome, you just feel incredibly happy just by listening this guys, you can feel how they're just having fun doing what they love and enjoy.

These guys have been my favorite band for many years (along the lines of 10 to 15 years). There music is always peppy and fun. They are the best around if you ask me

Humorous and entertaining lyrics, coupled with great music make them a great band

Fun, happy lyrics on their original tracks, and their covers absolutely rock. Without question, this is my favourite band.

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4 Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake is the band that introduced me to the genre. They have a perfect blend of upbeat and fun ska and loud punk rock that make their music amazing!

Best by far, Motown, science of selling yourself short, automatic, nervous in the alley, ghost of you and me, plastic cup politics, look what happened.

One of the best live bands out there!

I love their music.. Dunno why :v

5 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

One of the most rad bands out there. They have the most catchy horn party and amazing lyrics that flow together very well. Skank to the bosstones!

One of the best ska bands of the 90s or really any decade for that matter

Knew these guys back in the day. Just as good now as then.

My favorite ska band of all time

6 Catch 22

The creativity is on the highest level. From the vocals, drumming and the horn sections are sick. Very enjoyable to listen to, very energetic and so punk rock

Nice music compose, voice with great feelings and depth in lyrics. Great band.

The rawer version of Street Light Manifesto = Better

Even with out Kalnoky writing their lyrics, they still are awesome. Alone in a crowd and permanent revolution are great albums. still I'd say streetlight is better

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7 Five Iron Frenzy

They have everything. Humor, depth, creativity. Definitely the best ska band of all time.

Fantastic music, and just fun guys, I have seen them play many times and met them multiple as well.

They evolved out of ska, but their early stuff still holds up, years later. The horns are great, and the lyrics alternately satirical, self-depricating and honest.

8 Goldfinger

These guys practically carry crazy ska/punk guitar and horn mixed with great lyrics and genius upbeat tempo, spokesman defines punk.

Love them. Superman is a defining Ska punk song, along with other greats like Mabel and 99 Red Balloons. Goldfinger! - MojoSpaederman

9 Operation Ivy Operation Ivy Operation Ivy, sometimes called "Op Ivy," was an American Ska punk band, from Berkeley, California formed in May 1987. The band was stylistically important as one of the first bands to mix the elements of hardcore punk and ska into a new amalgam called ska punk and was critical to the emergence of Lookout more.

If it wasn't for Op Ivy then NONE of these bands would have been the formed in the same way. They transformed the genre and they will never be topped.

Despite that they didn't release much. Their music perfectly fits punk and ska together to start a whole new subgenre. Plus Mat and Tim started Rancid, one of the most important bands of all time!

Well the best Ska punk band and the most influential of all except for the 2 tone movement which sparks the ska punk genre

Such an awesome band

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10 Slapstick

Slapstick is one of the best Ska/Punk bands I have ever heard. Its truly a shame they were only around for a short time.

They were a fantastic band, I wish I had known about them before they broke up.

The Contenders

11 Ore Ska Band

Oreskaband has been performing since 2003 and they get better every year. Their songs keep getting better and so do their performances.

An all-girl ska/rock band from Japan, they were ranked the 6th-best live ska act in the world in 2014.

It's Japanese ska. Saw them live,they were simply amazing. One of the best shows I've seen. Just the pure energy they put out and you can tell they love every second of it! - Bonesaw97

12 The Toasters

As probably the worlds most toured band, The Toasters have introduced ska to probably more people than any other ska band on the planet - and they've stayed independent since 1982!

The toasters captured both the spirit and the sound. Live show was incredible.

13 The Specials

Nothing compares to The Specials! The define the cross-over from ska to punk. They had a positive groove, but with an edge, and smart lyrics that make you smile. I had a compilation album that I listened to over and over. They never get old.

You can't go wrong with Ghost town!

The best that two-tone has to offer, Ska just doesn't get better than these guys.

I don’t understand how these guys aren’t ranked higher.

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14 Suburban Legends

Just awesome live and great to run to in the gym

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15 Ska-p

About ska punk I'm sure is the best there is.. I think the reason that is not such popular as reel big fish, streetlight manifest etc. Is about the Spanish but if you listen the songs with English subs you will found that has definitely awesome lyrics.. Hear them! Viva la ska!

Best Ska Punk band ever so far. I love sublime, reel big fish.. but these guys have definitely something more. If there were singing in English they would be first here. Very happy music, if you guys don't know you need to give it a try

Imma listen ska-p in heaven. It's the happiest band I've ever listened

Outstanding band from Spain, no hesitation here!

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16 Big D & The Kids Table

Very good band. My girlfriends on drugs never gets old to me and I love the songwriting. They're also very talented in working together as a large band!

17 Rancid

Best band of all time, great bass riffs, a lot of variations in their style. Great for traveling, and they have an overall positive effect on listeners. Its great music for relaxing... Amazing band.

This list is stupid. Yes, Rancid, and mainly Tim Armstrong, have had a lot of ska type songs. And, they have had horns on stage with them in the past but they are a true PUNK band. They even call themselves a punk band. This list leaves out all the great punk bands before the 90's. Rancid is the best punk band of all time, but to call them ska is stupid. Just like this list!

19?! Rancid is one of the most legendary ska punk bands of all time. I can't believe the mighty mighty boss tones are above them. Can't wait to see then at riot fest this year! - SmileyStudios

Rancid is THE BEST band why is it way low. Maybe lots of people consider it punk then ska punk

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18 Voodoo Glow Skulls

Seen these guys many times back in the day in the IE. WHO DO VOODOO, WE DO...

Best ska band

19 No Doubt No Doubt No Doubt is an American rock band from Anaheim, California, that formed in 1986. Since 1994, the group has consisted of vocalist Gwen Stefani, bassist and keyboardist Tony Kanal, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Dumont, and drummer Adrian Young.

So many people forget just how influential and fantastic these were In the 90's

Sublime and No doubt are the best

Unbelievable, that top 3 is ridiculous. 1st is Sublime, 2nd is No Doubt.

20 New Riot
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List Stats

1,000 votes
107 listings
6 years, 200 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Sublime
2. Reel Big Fish
3. Less Than Jake
1. Ore Ska Band
2. Streetlight Manifesto
3. Reel Big Fish
1. Streetlight Manifesto
2. Less Than Jake
3. Catch 22

View All 4


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