Few bands ever manage to find that elusive sound which theirs alone; The Skints have managed to do this after only two albums. Short Change manages to both push new ground and channel this sound into a polished treat of an end product.
The immediately catchy lead single, ‘The Cost of Living Is Killing Me’, taps into the political sentiment of their first album, Live.Breathe.Build.Believe. However, this London ska-punk brigade have now managed to focus their Streetlight Manifesto-esque, societal anger into a cleaner, more mature sound. Each member of the multi-talented band is given an opportunity to showcase their skills on this impressive lead track and none disappoint, with special mention to Marcia Richards on the keys, the saxophone, the flute and, last by no means least, the melodica.
The Short Change EP is the band’s first outing independent of friend and reggae producer extraordinaire Prince Fatty. However, both ‘Break Me Down’ and ‘Broken Hearted’, track two and three of the EP, show that his canny influence has been far reaching: the retro organ interspersed with tinkly piano gives these pop gems some serious depth. Though Jovel’s claim that his rhymes are ‘heaven sent’ is a big shout, the layering of pop hooks and grimey raps over classic reggae sounds do bode incredibly well for a full album.
Short Change is the first outing for The Skints’ own independent label Penny Drop Recordings, and Ruffneck Reggae cannot wait for more releases. Bands that are as relevant as they are brilliantly catchy are few and far between: make the most of this fine specimen of both!
‘Short Change’ is available for digital release on March 25th and on LP at the end of March 2014
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