The Skints

FM

Written by: PP on 10/04/2015 22:28:30

Three years ago, I was particularly impressed by London, UK's The Skints and their cherish for the multicultural elements of London town. By combining together elements of punk, metal, ska, and reggae, the resulting expression was as vibrant as it was exhilarating in its nature. Parallels were easily drawn to equally crazy reggae-inspired rock bands Sonic Boom Six and Skindred, yet The Skints were always a little bit extra geared towards pure ska/reggae Jamaican style than these bands. This tendency manifests itself in a stronger manner on their third album "FM", which sees the band take a full leap into those genres while leaving all punk/metal influences behind.

That shift in direction has a couple of notable markers attached. First off, The Skints are now probably the most chill band outside the ska scene in California. A song like "Where Did You Go?" is as beach-and-palm-tree flavored as 311 classics like "Champagne" and "Amber", and if you don't find it relaxing there's probably no hope of you ever taking it easy. Similarly, songs like "This Town" and "In The Night" offer relaxed ska with reggae vibes, drawing parallels to Babylove & The Van Dangos, The Capital Beat, and why not also The Aggrolites and The Slackers in the process. Secondly, the laid-back nature of the music also means it's now even more danceable than before. Sure, there are no circle pit moments left, but that's all the more reason for you to shake your booty Caribbean style to their relaxed tunes. And before you ask, yes, the music sounds pretty darn authentic even as it references influences from faraway countries. Hip hop elements are liberally merged with straight up reggae, dub, and ska arrangements to arrive at a fairly interesting expression overall.

However, with the rock elements all but removed from the mix, The Skints are no longer that exciting upstart causing havoc in the established scene. Instead, they now blend together with other straight up ska/reggae bands with little to separate their identity from the others. Previously, their expression vividly captured the feeling of London's multiculturalism into a single soundscape, whereas now they're shifting more towards their American counterparts on "FM". Some will certainly appreciate this change in direction, whereas yours truly misses the unpredictable vibe brought by the sudden rock transitions on "Part & Parcel".

Download: This Town, In The Night, Tazer Beam
For the fans of: Babylove & The Van Dangos, The Aggrolites, The Slackers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.03.2015
Easy Star Records

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