Posted on May 31, 2010 - by Editor
Before The Fire
Rebel Alliance Recording
It’s been a long road for the Welsh reggae, skanking punks. 2008’s release of their EP ‘It’s Gonna Get Dirty’ and relentless touring schedule over the past couple of years have galvanised the band’s sound, self belief and determination and with the addition of producer Peter Miles on this record, a seasoned ear and direction has polished up tracks from the EP to form nearly half of the record. Although fans might need to adjust their ears slightly, the band had already evolved the sound of their songs on the touring circuit so it should not come as a shock but a pleasant surprise. The subtle additions of organs to fan favourite ‘I Love Reggae’ and the upbeat ‘50p’ show the tongue in cheek and humourous side to the band whilst still highlighting social commentary. The vocals of Reb Elle are fantastic and offers something a little bit different in a cluttered scene while the Stu White leading on ‘Failure To Communicate’ and ‘Years And Years’ adds some diversity and offers the band room to expand in sound and future possibilities. The odd one out is ‘Firing Line’ which reminds me of The Libertines actually but it’s still a great song and emphasises the bands maturity and ability to craft different sounds to their songs. It’s on the whole upbeat, clap-along (‘Why Should I Care?’) and thematically is positive as the focus on peace and unity are prevalent. That’s not to say the album doesn’t offer its fair share of aggro intent. It’s a diverse collection, instrumentally and sound wise, dipping their Welsh toes into dub, reggae, ska and punk rock and thankfully the UK has a small collection of bands leading its punk and ska scene in the right direction, Dirty Revolution is at the helm. (Oh and be patient for the ditty bonus track hidden at the end).
Concrete Jungle Records
Riot Brigade are a mix of melodic hardcore and street punk drawing obvious influence from bands like The Unseen but it results in a energetic and frenetic record, full of socio-political commentary. The mix of vocals from hardcore to gang-vocal sing alongs creates a tight, fast paced but mature album and one that flies by. Comparisons can also be drawn with Anti Flag, in its angsty but infectious and positive content and melodic choruses and sound however songs like ‘Innocence’ which is a slower number, but no less poignant is still great. Tracks such as ‘Your Way To Explain It’ and ‘Set The Pace’ stood out, but the record as a whole seems to be a giant leap for the band, and hopefully will set them on to greater exposure because “Go On!”indicates the band deserves it.
Old Habits Die Hard
Kings Of Nuthin
People Like You Records
Whatever secret punk rock ingredient Boston leaks into its water to endlessly deliver top quality punk rock bands extends to The Kings Of Nuthin who are madhouse swinging fun. The album, which is actually really long for a punk record (18 songs), is a mishmash of swing-jazz-ska-punkabilly, mixing in a hefty dose of 50’s rock n roll and Rhythm and Blues; and it’s really hard to not enjoy. The gruff vocals of Torr Skoog (who comically spit sings much like a Daffy Duck in parts) along with the upbeat swinging piano (Zack) and saxophone (Hayden), upright bass (Thomas), washboards (Necro) creates a melting pot of sound which is full of crazed life. The trio of back to back tracks; ‘Same Situation’, ‘Old Habits and ‘Promise Not A Threat’ blend effortlessly but simultaneously show the bands range while ‘Sick And Tired’ is also notable. The gentile side is shown on ‘Silver City’ with Stephanie Dougherty from Deadly Sins adding the sweet female vocal collaboration and album ender ‘Congratulations’ is a solo bitter sweet tongue in cheek number. The record ignites a room, and live, the band would be killer.
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