Titled ‘Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves’, this album clearly has roots in both ska and punk.
The band have been hailed as a modern ska band, generating an infectious noise which has pulled in the crowds across Europe during their tour. Having previously been compared to such greats as The Specials and Madness, they mix the jazz and blues roots of ska with powerful guitars and a little bit of rap. The true origins of the genre are found in calypso, and there is certainly a sense of carnival party in this collection of songs.
You can expect some well-known tunes as well as some new material, including ‘Don’t Look Behind You’ and their most recent single ‘Radio’. The latter is everything I love about ska – instantly injecting you with adrenalin and dragging you to your feet. Even sat down writing this review, my shoulders are bouncy of their own accord. And with a catchy chorus, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser. If you’ve never listened to the band before, you’ll be confidently bopping and singing along before the end of the track.
This album features two guest singers. Dancehall and reggae artist Dr Ring Ding features on one of the more solemn tracks, ‘Sam’, which opens with a sombre brass instrumental, echoing military bands and that element of ceremony. This is one where you want to sit back and listen to the lyrics, enjoying both the sound and the soul of the song. Former lead singer of The King Blues, Itch lends his voice to the song ‘Ceasefire’, one of the tracks which involves more rap, and opens with the command to “turn this one up”. I highly advise you do, showing the true power of rap to instil a message through fast-paced vocals set to a thumping backdrop of instruments.
My favourite tune on the album is ‘All in a Day’, with a guitar introducing, building with vocals and then the powerful mixture of instruments. Again, there is a catchy chorus which guides you to sing along, even if you’re experiencing the grey day in which the lyrics describe. This is often when I listen to ska music, when the day has drained me of any optimism, as it has that power to grab you by the collar and shake any negativity to the floor as it shakes you into a fervent frenzy.
The release date is the 24th November, right at the end of their UK leg of the promoting tour. So, to get a feel for it, you can see the band perform at the Welly on Friday 7th November, alongside Counting Coins, Breeze and Bud Sugar.
All four of these bands ooze energy from every pore. And they’ll have you bouncing around that dance floor intoxicated on their addictive enthusiasm.