During the process of digging through and re-posting all the reviews I did have backed up from Beat Lizard I’ve become acutely aware of the big gapping holes left by the ones I’ve lost. An unknown number of reviews, articles and features are unhappily now lost to the dark forests of electronic oblivion where I can only hope their spirits (for all lost writing has a soul – as any fool knows) have deftly avoided the shortbread house and instead found peace in a palace full of 72 virgin maids granted by the Almighty in deference to the good work they did in spreading the holy word of good music. And as is ever the way those of us left behind must keep up the good work with ever renewed vigor so, tears choked back and heart turned to ice, I’m going to give a brief fumbling seeing to to those albums I have loved enough to write about but which have been lost to the written archives of The Laikanist…
Chewbaska – The Shape of Ska to Come
More Ska Punk? Why yes, yes indeedy. Well, almost yes at any rate given that today’s offering actually leans more to the side of the Ska than the Punk which is unsurprisingly no disappointment to me at least. Hailing, like Guarapita, from France, Chewbaska offer up an EP of what is basically old fashioned Second Wave Ska. Think Madness with a nostalgic dash of The Skatalites and you’re more or less there and that’s a mix which in these Ska deprived days is no bad thing.
Guarapita – Si Hay! (Jamendo)
Reviewing albums that are nearly 4 years old? Yeah, bleeding edge folks, expect me to regress even further and start extolling the virtues of 1990’s Indie some time soon. Well, don’t actually because it was largely shite. Anyway, Guarapita have a couple of newer albums, unsurprisingly but this is the one that I managed to trip over in a drunken, stoned haze one night and nothing inspires a soul like skanking around your room at 3 in the morning to French/Venezuelan Ska Punk. Plus free music stands outside of time and space, maaan, largely because nobody’s ever heard of most of the bands anyway.
The Hardtits – Demo 2008 (Jamendo)
The Hardtits… Jazz, Punk, Rock, Ska and an excellent, if slightly random, name for your average English listener. Theoretically there’s absolutely nothing to dislike here, except perhaps the Jazz but even that could be forgiven in light of the rest of the claimed styles and the fact that the French actually seem to do upbeat Jazz quite well (i.e. Trio). Theory and reality though are a million miles apart as any fule know and with this lot the intent isn’t really reflected in the end result.
Despedidos Ska – Despedidos Ska (Jamendo)
Summer = Ska Season. It’s a well known fact that. Sure, at this precise moment in time I can’t think of a single other genre more suited to Summer than Ska, although admitedly I’m not thinking very hard at all, but the point stands. Sun glaring down? Get some beer and some Skatalites. Overheated evening? Get some rum and some Doberman to skank away your sorrows and see if you can get carted away with heat stroke. Temperate at 6am? Turn up the volume and stick Madness on for the neighbours. And have a beer. Now who could argue with that sort of well thought out logic eh? No one, that’s who, so Ska is Summer and Summer is Ska, hence todays album choice, in case you hadn’t guessed already.