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King Prawn: Got the Thirst *

Album Notes

Originally released on Golf Records.

The ska-punk field has been quite crowded in the '90s and 2000s -- not only in Great Britain and the United States, but also in Latin America (where many rock en Español bands have embraced the style). Some U.K. residents would argue that the best ska-punk has come from England, a country that has been seriously into ska and reggae since the '60s. But while it is an exaggeration to say that England has the market cornered on ska-punk talent, the country has made some undeniably valuable contributions to the style. King Prawn was among the most exciting ska-punk bands to come out of England in the '90s, and Got the Thirst won't do anything to hurt the group's reputation. The influences that have served them well in the past -- everyone from the Specials, the Dead Kennedys, and the Clash to Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Shabba Ranks -- continue to serve them well on this CD, which was recorded in London in 2001 and released in the U.S. in 2003. Ska-punk is the foundation, but they have also been influenced by hardcore and alternative metal as well as hip-hop, funk, soul, and dancehall. In terms of influences, Got the Thirst is all over the place -- and much to the band's credit, King Prawn is able to incorporate all these influences without sounding confused or unfocused. Whether the group is making some Rage Against the Machine-ish moves on "Bring Down the House" and the metallic "Viva Devi" or acknowledging Godfather of Soul James Brown on the funk-minded "Gather Round," King Prawn doesn't lose a bit of creative momentum on this far-reaching, generally excellent CD. ~ Alex Henderson


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