Author: Warrington Ska Punk

Album Reviews

Harijan – Harijan

Dour, northern and brilliant. The ska punk that 2020 deserved.

I need to start this review with a confession. Cards on the table time. It’s this: I love what TNS Records represent, absolutely. I absolutely love who they are in the scene, I love their DIY ethic, their stand out values, their inclusivity. But… I struggle to love a lot of the music they release. The problem’s not them – its me.

They’re just a bit too ferocious for me. Their music? It’s wild, it’s untamed. It’s punk with the limiters taken off. And, I’ll be honest, I spent most of yesterday evening reading by the log burner, listening to Nina Simone, and some very chilled out Pama International reggae. And so, the brutal reality is… TNS Records are too punk for me?

Millie Manders Taking Truth, Breaking Ties
Album Reviews

Millie Manders and The Shutup – Telling Truths, Breaking Ties

Female-fronted power punk that takes the listener by the horns

After half a decade as an absolute stalwart of UK Ska Punk, Millie Manders and The Shutup have finally put an album together.

Now, it’s always a challenge reviewing something by someone you are totally in awe of. Not only is Millie utterly ferocious in performance – whilst managing to be friendly and generous in person – she also lives with a cut-me-in-half-and-I-bleed-truth integrity. Whether its her youth musician development tutoring, or her unceasing championing of the under-funded and under-loved Norfolk Arts scene, she’s there. Plus she drew a unicorn mermaid that my 6 year old daughter thought was amazing. She’s slightly intimidating really, but that’s fine, because truly awesome people are meant to be.

Album Reviews

3dBs Down – Get Your Retaliation In First

Featuring call-and-response out the wazoo!

I missed 3dBs Down the first time round. Again. (I also missed The Skints – catch our Skints & Bedouin Soundclash review here). They still sound pretty fresh, despite my decades-long lack of observation. There’s a definite late 90s twinge going on – I’d bet good money they enjoyed the odd Spunge & Goldfinger albums back in the day – but it’s a long way from cookie cutter third wave. Its relaxed – for punk anyway – but it still has an edge

The first takeaway from your listening experience will be the great stacked vocals littered throughout. There’s dual harmonies on basically every chorus coupled with solid shout interjections in songs like “At Your Signal“, multilined vocals at the end of “Moussaka“, etc. Matt’s vocals actually remind me a bit of those of (long dead) band Bingo Tonight, especially on “Idiot Ignorant Evil“. There’s a definite a poppy hook on a lot of the singing, although it’s juxtaposed with some decently heavy riffs.

Album Reviews

Smooth Lee – The Holdup

Soul-tinged Ska that's old school in all the right ways

So it’s not often that I get an unexpected vinyl through the door. I mean, I say that. I regularly get music through the door and I’m like “Oh Right! I forgot I ordered this…”

But in this situation, it was an album I’d never heard of, from a band I’d never heard of. It turns out that Smooth Lee are a ska band from fair Belgium. I asked them why they so foolishly sent their music 500 miles out of their way to the grim wastelands of the North West…

EP Reviews

Bruce Lee Band – Rental!! Eviction!!

Idea-stuffed songs that speed by in a danceable whirlwind.

“This night has everything!”

The Bruce Lee Band is the occasional vehicle for stalwart Skanking Pickle all-round-nice-guy skapunk-legend Mike Park. Spanning a whole range of sounds and styles at a breathtaking pace, there’s a lot to like here. Not to mention some gorgeous keys and a pinch of trumpeting to really ice the cake.