Starting in the 1980s, ska was re-emerging in the United States in a new form, and was established by the early 1990s. Many of these new bands were playing ska punk which, as the name suggests, is heavily influenced by punk with a faster tempo, greater emphasis on the offbeats by the guitar, utilization of guitar distortion, and often less influence on brass instrumentation. Whereas some Jamaican ska songs have a shuffle feel, with the upbeats played on the third beat of each triplet (eg My Boy Lollipop), ska punk is almost always played in unsyncopated straight eights.
A subgenre of ska punk called ska-core also emerged, combining ska with hardcore punk, oftentimes forgoing the use of brass at all and simply using the ska styles for guitar and bass . The major music scenes were concentrated on the West Coast, in Orange County and the Bay Area in California, but were scattered on the East Coast. The most significant bands of the third wave ska movement include The Toasters, Operation Ivy, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Fishbone, Less Than Jake, Save Ferris, Sublime, and The Aquabats.
Although ska-punk groups appropriate the musical stylings of punk rock, many of them do not share punk's sometimes tiresome political concerns. Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake in particular play predominantly good-time party music in the tradition of classic ska, with very little if any political agenda.