Easy Star Records
Way back in the 1960’s Stone Age The Who pulled this conceit off with some panache and the premise here is the same: we are tuning into a Radio London broadcast, but rather than pushing the boundaries of mod rock, we are revisiting a cherished and polished ragga transplanted from the islands and then polished by two generations of assimilation. The Skints’ English is practiced and middle class, the rhythm rock steady and the vocals reflect an assimilation and appreciation for London. The isolation and longing for home was grandma’s thing, this is the music of a new British identity.
After a quickie radio intro, we tackle a “This Town” that’s nothing like the old two tone songs of fear and street beatings. Instead these snappy dressers are at home from the Brixton clubs to the West End. Everyone in the band contributes vocals; the patter is fast enough to focus your attention, but these guys are so Public school sounding that an old white guy in Florida can follow “In the Night” or the pan pipe-seasoned love song “Come to You.” This is a welcoming album of good times, clean cities and ethnic communities that are the economic engines of the middle class. Even the darker “My War” accuses “you’re one of them”, but it’s now more a Bernstein influenced Sharks Vs Jets dance number and an actual call to battle to blood over a broken street. There are old memories here but they fade in the face of good music and good times. Announcer “Ranking Pegasus” even offers as advice to rappers dealing with audiences 10 times bigger than they expected. Not a bad problem to have; and not a bad sound to have on the radio.