The Kingpins

The Kingpins

Let’s Go To Work

Stomp/Moon Ska NYC

I really liked the Kingpins’ surfy secret agent track on last month’s Skarmageddon 4 , so when their new album, Let’s Go to Work , showed up in my mailbox, it was a pleasant surprise. Well, there’s nothing here that sounds like that tune (no, not even the unlisted final track, a cover of John Barry’s theme from the James Bond movie Thunderball ), but that’s not to say there isn’t a good album here. The Kingpins play a beery, uptempo, slightly poppy brand of ska that I could see being a big hit with the skinhead contingent, especially tracks like “Just One Day” and the title track. Musically, the band falls somewhere between the rootsy, soulful sounds of Deal’s Gone Bad and the Scofflaws, with a healthy dose of the latter’s fun-loving attitude. Highlights include “King of the Jungle” (which co-opts the “oo-ga-chock-a” gang vocals from the ’70s hit “Hooked on a Feeling”), the ska en Français of “Manon, Viens Danser le Ska” (“Manon, Come to Dance the Ska”), and anytime tenor saxophonist Lorraine Muller picks up the mic to sing, especially the rave up “Lot’s Wife.” Oh, and “The Coconut Song” is, hands down, the silliest song of the year. A good record from a band that I’ll bet is a lot of fun live.

Stomp Records, distributed in the USA by Moon Ska Records, PO Box 1412, New York, NY 10276, www.moonska.com

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