London-based reggae four piece outfit The Skints have recently revealed their third and latest album FM, a 15 track set inspired by a time when the band used to drive around in guitarist Josh Waters Rudge’s car, tuning in to the radio and trying to find new music.
FM follows their eclectic Short Change EP from last year and on the album they have pulled influences ranging from grime, garage and punk to summertime sound system reggae, dancehall, rocksteady and soul. It’s a tour of urban culture in its latest guise.
The album kicks off with the distinctively British This Town, featuring deejays Tippa Irie and Horseman, a celebratory ode to London with its sparse arrangement and tongue twisting vocal delivery. It’s followed by catchy hooks, infectious melodies and unexpected arrangements, as the up-tempo Friends & Business, whichmetamorphoses and suddenly borrows from The Specials’ legendary Ghost Town.
The Skints’ debut album Live, Breathe, Build, Believe was highly influenced by Californian ska punk and since that set they have definitely matured and ventured into a more reggae-oriented direction led by the mighty Prince Fatty, who has helmed production on their two latest albums.
FM is The Skints’ tribute to traditional radio culture, a culture when the DJ was king and you weren’t able make your own playlists listening to Spotify or Deezer.
UK reggae punksters The Skints have come a long way since their debut album Live, Breathe, Build, Believe. That set was more or less punk with reggae influences, while their latest, and Prince Fatty-produced albumPart & Parcel, was the opposite – reggae with punk attitude.
On the brand new four track EP Short Change they take another leap forward incorporating more grimey hip-hop in their urban and eclectic sound. And this cutting-edge set offers both filthy bass lines and sounds of the summer.
The excellent lead single The Cost of Living is Killing Me comments on the current economic climate and has vocalist Josh Waters Rudge delivering a gritty cockney rap complemented by drummer Jamie Kyriakides and the multi-talented Marcia Griffiths singing both verses and the chorus. Three vocalist on one tune work really well and the recipe is copied on all three vocal tracks.
The Skints certainly have an ability to transcend genres and they are not afraid of breaking boundaries to create refreshing beats and infectious hooks.
Really looking forward to the announced, but not yet scheduled, new album.
Reggae and ska have influenced punk rock since the 70’s. And one of the earliest and most well-known examples is The Clash and their collaboration with Mikey Dread as well as their cover of Junior Murvin’s mighty Police & Thieves. Since then the genres have been in a love relationship that has rendered lots of great music.
The UK’s The Skints follow in this fine tradition, and it was manifested on their debut album Live.Breathe. Build. Believe., which was more or less a punk rock album influenced by ska and reggae.
On their recently released follow-up Part & Parcel they’ve used the same ingredients, but shifted the measures in favor of more ska and reggae and less punk rock.
Part & Parcel was produced by Prince Fatty – responsible for Hollie Cook’s highly acclaimed self-titled debut album released last year – and together with the band they’ve created a vital album jam-packed with furious energy and playfulness.
But it also boasts deep bass lines, smooth skanking vibes and sweet pop melodies courtesy of three lead singers – each with his and hers very distinctive style – taking turn on the microphone.
Probably not an album that will appeal to the purist or traditionalist, but well-worth checking out for those tired of rasta preachings or one drop beats.