1 800 222 6872

Skanic: Last Call

Album Notes

Three years after their formation, Skanic finally released this, their debut album. Taking 2 Tone down exciting new avenues, the San Diego area group unleashes a baker's dozen of upbeat tracks, filled to the brim with brass and driven by compulsive ska and reggae rhythms. Many of the group's songs boast a dark, angry edge that defined the Specials' sound, particularly noticeable on "Eyesore," albeit in a rockier context, and "Temper," but also pooling around "Yard Duty" and "Don't Dance Too Hard," both of which blend in a barreling exuberance that tips a porkpie hat to Madness as well. But with that full brass section flashing around and strutting through the arrangements, Skanic incorporate a jazzy flair reminiscent of the Skatalites, a styling fabulously showcased on "Love City" and "Closet Case." Counterintuitively, the brass also pays a fine tribute to Skatalite pianist Jackie Mittoo on "Fine Mess," as the band versions his cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." "Mess" exquisitely slides around genres and atmospheres, all held together by Eric Murphy's propulsive bassline and Chuck Gross' bubbling Hammond organ. An equally intriguing but extremely different hybrid is "Czar," where surfy guitar washes up on the Volga River, towing a storming 2 Tone rhythm in its wake. But for shock value, "Breed" wins hands down, as the band storms with wild abandon across the Nirvana number. With lyrics touching on the environment, the schoolyard, love in a foreign clime, and legalization of marijuana, as well as more personal themes, Skanic offer more than your typical unity and love anthems, although they serve a few of those up with panache as well. From the bubbly sweet reggae of the title track to the tight 2 Tone of "Chaos," Last Call is stuffed with crowd-pleasers, and even when the bell has rung on the last song, listeners will definitely be back for more. ~ Jo-Ann Greene


There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review