Category Archives: Reggae

Ratatat – The Skints Are At The Front Door!

After much umm-ing and aah-ing, whether it be over choices of songs to cover, songs to release, and generally how much to tease their loyal fans, the Skints have kept the attention of thousands, mainly due to their frankly fantastic debut album, ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe.’

But finally, and thankfully, they have given us something! Their new single Ratatat has been released, and it’s a cracker!  A great mix of rap, dub, ska and reggae, it sees a slightly different take on the last album, whilst keeping the aspects that make them so fantastic!

Not only this, but they’ve also released the album artwork AND title for the new album – ‘Part and Parcel’ is due to be released on April 9th and  I cannot wait! Designed by the same designer of their t-shirts and last album, it’s a great bold statement, and I’m sure it’ll look great as it rises up the charts on it’s release. Enjoy!

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Slam Dunk

Well, everyone’s been waiting. I say everyone, it’s not exactly a major festival, but ho-hum. It’s out. As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly thrilled by the first announcements of this year’s Slam Dunk Festival. The line-up includes Architects, Cancer Bats, and Forever The Sickest Kids, and, aside from the King Blues, who are just fantastic, and I cannot wait to see again, it’s all sounding like a bit of a headache! Maybe I’m just being negative, and I’ll wait and see, with some updates on the new announcements, but I’m hoping for more ska, as last year’s festival was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a show, with bands like The Skints, who I’m sure will be making a return this year, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake.

Slam Dunk to me, means punk, reggae, and ska, but it all seems to be getting a little bit screamo for my liking. We’ll have to wait and see!

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Tell The Skints I’m Getting Impatient.

So, the Skints have finally closed their PledgeMusic account, after recieving far more donations than they ever could have hoped for. Which means their album MUST be on the way. I’ve been listening to their first album ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe’ for years now, and it has to be one of my favourite debut albums of all time. So my expectations built up by the variety of different acoustic covers released over the past few months on their facebook page have made the wait almost unbearable. Their covers have opened my eyes up to a whole variety of old reggae artists, whether it be Desmond Dekker, with their cover of ‘It Mek’ or Dennis Brown and his ‘Lips of Wine.’ The most recent release, which is set to be their most popular with almost 30,000 views already, is a cover of Katy B’s ‘On a Mission.’ I can’t say I’m a big fan of the original, but this ‘dub-ified’ version is sure to get reggae lover’s pulses racing. Check it out below. I’ll let you know when the new album’s out, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of 2012!!

Oh. Also, Marcia, musician extraordinaire from the Skints, is a bit of a blogger herself. Check out her Tumblr which features everything from Skints news to recipes and random information about her life, if you’re into stalking talented people.

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Light The Horizon Finally Available!

For all of you Bedouin Soundclash fans in the UK who have been wondering when on earth they are going to release Light The Horizon, in a format that doesn’t mean buying the imported CD for £40 on Amazon, you’ll be pleased to hear that you will be able to download the album from iTunes from 23rd May. If you pre-order now, the album is only £6.99.

From what I have heard already, with classic tracks like ‘Mountain Top’ and ‘Fool’s Tattoo,’ the album will be worth the very long wait. Enjoy!

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/light-the-horizon/id437348648?affId=1409847

The band also have an upcoming UK tour. Check out the link for more details: http://www.bedouinsoundclash.com/events

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The King Blues – Punk and Poetry

Well, seemingly lightyears since the news of a new album from The King Blues was first released, Punk and Poetry is finally here! And thank god it is, because it is yet another stunning album from the UK’s best up-and-coming punk band!
Whilst the band were originally intending on writing more of a love and relationship based album, the current political climate led them to have a change of heart. So from the onset, there is no doubt that The King Blues are as angry as they have always been!
The opening track features a dramatic and theatrical instrumental section backing Jonny Fox’s poem for the ‘Last of the Dreamers.’
See an a capella version of the opener below:

As if they didn’t need to certify that they were angry any more than was already clear, this is followed by the aural assault of ‘We Are F**cking Angry.’ Commenting on the political turmoil around the globe, as well as at home in the UK, this couldn’t be any more hard hitting if they tried, with a pounding mix of Dubstep-style synths, heavy guitar, and Itch’s grating vocals.
Next up is the band’s new single – Set The World On Fire. This adds a lighter, poppier sound into the mix, whilst always managing to retain great lyrics. The song draws parallels between Itch and a stereotypical MP – highlighting how, as a country, we have a tendency to just skip over what is in the news, as we have all become so numbed to what is going on, after years and years of it, such as in the line: ‘The war wages is on and it’s only eight o’clock!’ This is only one of many issues that this song addresses, others including plastic surgery and asylum seekers.
With a new lineup comes a new sound, and it is instantly obvious that whilst Itch’s lyrics remain as they used to be, there is a very different tune driving them forwards. Additional guitarists and new bassists and keyboardists have brought a much fuller sound to the band. It is very noticeable that the ukelele takes much less prominence, and instead there is more room for electric guitar, rather than Jamie Jazz’s trusty acoustic!

This new style includes other songs, such as I Want You, another of my personal favourites, which likens his love to how ‘the fat boys want Chubby Checker!’ The older single Headbutt, and Everything Happens For A Reason are two more of the poppier tracks, yet still stand out for me as some of the best, the latter being a vivid account of Itch’s buildup to becoming a father.
However, one song which really stands out to me is one which sticks more within the boundaries of the traditional ska-punk style – The future’s not what it used to be – My favourite track on the album. The song kicks off with a good old ska beat, accompanying a slow horn section, where Itch claims to have drawn inspiration from the Specials’ ‘Ghost Town.’ Whilst the song may seem a little slow at first, it picks up towards the end into a breakneck, almost incomprehendable fury, before dying back down into the chilled out chorus.
This is yet another unmissable release from the King Blues, so DON’T miss it! With a running time of 30 minutes exactly, the pace remains quick throughout, but the King Blues manage to cram in everything that needs saying, and much, much more within this time, thanks to skill of the band themselves combined with Itch’s one-of-a-kind lyrical talent! This album is a real credit to what this band are capable of, and is yet another example which goes to show that just because a punk band changes their style, THEY HAVE NOT SOLD OUT!

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Joe Strummer – The Future Is Unwritten

I have been a fan of The Clash for quite some time now, and in particular, Joe Strummer and his unique personality and attitude towards life that made him such a inspirational man. So, when I saw this film, among many others documenting the Joe and the Clash, and the fantastic reviews it had received, it was a must for me to buy.

The film documents Strummer’s life in a very unique way, combining interviews with the man himself, with friends and family sitting around a Strummerville festival campfire, rare video footage of Joe on stage, and other unusual clips, such as his cartoons reflecting his thoughts and feelings towards life, which were animated and adapted for film.

The film begins by discussing Joe’s childhood. It was so interesting to find out where the roots of his D.I.Y and hard working ethics originated from, such as being sent away to boarding school, and then having to bully his way out of falling into a completely miserable childhood.

The film also documents the breakdown of Joe’s career in The Clash and how he progressed onto writing his own solo material. It also shows people views of the man today, and how his legacy has lived on even in today’s world. I found the film truly thought-provoking and was a great insight into the life behind the scenes of one of punk’s most famous figures. For anyone even remotely interested in the Clash, this is a must-see, as Strummer was one of a kind, who made such a difference to the world around him.

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Sonic Boom Six – Rude Awakening

Sonic Boom Six, the ska/punk band from Manchester, UK have recently released Rude Awakening, a compilation of the band’s greatest hits to celebrate ‘their story so far.’

The album is ideal for those who have never heard of the band before, as the tracklisting contains a good mix of almost every genre which they have tried to incorporate into their overall sound, such as reggae, dub, ska, rap, rock and punk.

If you have never really had a proper listen to SB6, I highly recommend Rude Awakening as the best album to listen, so go ahead! You may be pleasantly surprised!

The band are fronted by Laila Khan, who’s incredibly high pitched voice adds something very unique to SB6 and really makes them stand out from the other ska-punk bands out there.

The album also features one of the live favourites – a cover of Puretone’s ‘Addicted To Bass.’ They have tried to incorporate the energy and crazy bassline that had sent the crowd wild both times I have been to see them! This is definitely a unique gem of the album that is really worth listening to.

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Bedouin Soundclash – New Single

Bedouin Soundclash have released their first ridiculously catchy single, called Mountain Top, from their new album, Light The Horizon, which was released on 28th September. This is the band’s first album since Street Gospels in 2007.

The new single features more of the choppy, reggae/ska guitar that Bedouin Soundclash have become famous for, combined with Jay Malinowski’s unique high pitched vocals and some awesome drumming! The song is rounded off with a ridiculously catchy chorus, and this all  combines together to guarantee that this song will remain in your head sometime after listening!

I have to thank Mike Davies again for introducing me to yet another great song via his Radio 1 Show!!

You can find the official video for Mountain Top below:

 

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