Make A Move
Moon Ska NYC
The Busters are one of Germany’s most popular ska bands. So why haven’t we heard much from them in the US? Well, they’ve been signed to Sony Germany, and the corporation held international rights to the band’s albums, yet for some bizarre reason, didn’t release them in the country with the largest ska audience. Typical major label thinking at work. At any rate, the Busters have finally left Sony, and now have a US deal with Moon Ska, just in time for their latest record, Make A Move. It’s a concept album intended to be “a compilation of different short movies inspired by a certain mood each,” according to drummer Stefan Breuer. I don’t know about all that, but Make A Move is filled with catchy ska-rock tunes, and is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Like the Specials’ More Specials, Make A Move is book-ended by covers of the classic “Enjoy Yourself.” Certainly, some of the feel of the 2 Tone era extends to other tracks on the record, like the punchy “Love at First Sight,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” and the moody “I Want to Break Your Heart.” “She’s A Beauty” and “Six Beers and Rocksteady Music” are Toasters-styled skankers (why are songs about rocksteady music never rocksteady songs?), while the jazzy title track wouldn’t be out of place on an Easy Big Fella record. “A Taste of Honey” takes that uptempo-jazz feel even further, sounding like a rockier Eastern Standard Time. “Three Minutes” (the album’s “chase scene,” according to the press info) sounds like a ska tune crashed into the theme from the old Batman TV series, making for captivating chaos, while “Someone Else” is definitely the theme from a lost James Bond movie. There are a few tracks I could definitely skip over (The ballad “Make Up My Mind,” for example), but the catchy tracks, like the unforgettable “Too Much Stimulation,” more than make up for any minor shortcomings.
The album is rounded out by five “Bonus Euro-Ska Tracks,” explained in the press material as being the result of a local brewer giving the band 600 bottles of brew after appearing on television playing in the brewery. Hence, “Come On” repeats in Italian, “Someone Else” in Russian, “Too Much Stimulation” in Spanish, “Do What You Want” in French, and “Joe King” becomes “Ernst” in German. All in all, Make A Move is a lot of fun, and makes me glad to see that the Busters have finally made a move that allows their records to be released in the US. Moon SKA NYC, P.O. Box 1412, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276; http://www.moonska.com