Sonic Boom Six

The F-Bomb

Written by: PP on 04/01/2017 23:18:32

The prime example of British multiculturalism in terms of sound, Sonic Boom Six have reached their fifth album with "The F-Bomb". They continue to liberally explore a stylistic territory somewhere in between ska, reggae, grime, punk, metal and dubstep as they have done in the past, though with a distinctly less rock-oriented sound this time around. Instead, the London-style (although the band is based in Manchester) merge of a multitude of different cultures is the resounding element coming across "The F-Bomb", where the resulting soundscape is not really easily classifiable among any of the traditional genres. Exactly what Sonic Boom Six have been about throughout their career, then, eh?

The higher pitched female vocals by Laila Khan are still in the spotlight as in the past. With just enough punk-fueled rebellion and attitude, she freely travels across ska and hip-hop ideas to arrive at just the perfect party-starting, hip-shaking rhythms that are contrasted by rap verses and similar on "Drop The Bass (And Pick It Up)", for instance. The latter is arguably one of the best entry points to Sonic Boom Six because it combines into one song everything the band is about: the wealth of different stylistic influences, the vibrant bass-driven electronics that seamlessly fit together with reggae and hip-hop influence, and the subtle rock/metal/punk undertones that are ever-present in the background. In a way, Sonic Boom Six always sound like they're just at the edge of belonging into a genre but not quite. "Train Leaves Tomorrow", for instance, is almost like a classic ska/reggae track, whereas "No Man, No Right" echoes Skindred or The Skints, and "Love" is almost like a pop song. But not quite. The saxophones and the attitude are what sets that song apart, and you can arrive at a similar sentiment about the other songs.

So far so good. The multiculturalism of a globalized world where all people are equal to express themselves in whatever way they wish oozes as strongly as ever from Sonic Boom Six's soundscape. However, in terms of songwriting "The F-Bomb" isn't quite up there with the self-titled from four years ago, nor the cult classic "City Of Thieves" from 2009 that was a unique spark in an otherwise mundane year of music, at least when it comes to innovation and fresh sounds. The record is consistent, don't get me wrong, but it is missing the highlight few tracks that'd draw you in and keep you there for the essential repeat listening sessions. That said, Sonic Boom Six are still among the most unique bands around, so give "The F-Bomb" a shot nonetheless.

7

Download: "No Man, No Right"; "Drop The Bass (And Pick It Up)";
For the fans of: The Skints, Skindred, Adequate Seven, Random Hand, Larica
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.05.2016
Cherry Red Records

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