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.
Despedidos Ska are a veritable army of a band with more members than I care to count going by the pictures on MySpace (I can’t be bothered to count very high mind you) who’re based all the way over in Colombia, which would explain the Spanish singing if nothing else. Musically they’re alright but perhaps not much more, it’s Ska by the numbers really, fast paced highlights with a bit of Reggae-esque filling, a nice enough sound in itself and with Ska just playing in vaguely the right way at a fast enough speed is often enough to cover up any deeper inadiquacies. Which it does, mostly. There are failings though unfortunately, occasionally the mood seems to switch over to a sort of elevator/’80s U.S. sitcom Jazz feel, usually thanks to the brass section who seem competent enough technically but don’t quite seem to know what to do when they’re shoved to the forefront of a song. Not a consistent problem though, for the most part they carry it off with enough confidence not to raise eyebrows of disapproval and they do spawn the odd toe tapping moment, if no full blown Skanking ones.
The singer, who’s also the sole woman in the group judging by the pictures, doesn’t have the strongest of voices but there is a certain charm which fits in nicely. It’s an entertaining sort of style she’s got going on, which makes it seem like there’d be far more fun to be had at a gig than there might be from listening to this EP. And even if that does sound like a mixed sort of compliment I do enjoy her contribution to the EP a fair bit, enough to recommend the download in fact.