Tales of the Unexpected
Released: Out Now
Genre: Ska / Reggae
Label: Do The Dog
Four 0 are a male quartet that originate from Bournemouth, England. Recently they released their newest album, Tales of the Unexpected
Four 0 tag themselves as “indie”, but there are also heavy elements of ska, punk, rock and even reggae. This makes for an interesting combination as the album progresses through its ten tracks, jumping from crisp, chunky electric guitar riffs to the twang of ukuleles. Its novel sound is exciting and original, and would make even the most sour-faced of listeners crack a smile.
The first and probably the catchiest track on the album, Step Back, is delightful. Full of energy and rock-band enthusiasm, it combines classic gritty electric guitar with a reggae drum beat and Wailers-esque rhythm guitar to form a track which is as baffling as it is brilliant. With an irresistibly memorable hook, “Step back, heart attack!” the track lingers in the mind long after it has been heard.
The same could be said for most of the songs on the album. The boys in Four 0 breeze through each song with a southern charm that seems much more refined than it was when they released their EP, and even their first album. They sound more “grown-up”, as it were. Not any less fun, but infinitely more polished and confident.
Other tracks to take note of are Desert Rains, mainly for the almost animatedly happy introduction that gives us Tyrone Moll and a thoroughly Mexican “Areba!”. Throw in a flawless drum beat, a rumbling bass guitar and a pair of maracas , and you have a track that sums up the attitude of all four boys in a playful six minutes and four seconds.
Ukelay Saturday is also guaranteed to lift the mood of any listener, with vocals reminiscent of those by the Wombats front-man, Matthew Murphy, and Clash Horns is a reminder of the chaos that is the album’s general sound. The boys’ genuine musical ability is also showcased best in this track, with impressive, fast-paced guitar scales resonating from every corner of the track. Also, Lost and Lonely will evoke smiles and a nodding of the head from most listeners, though it can seem as though the boys are trying a bit too hard at times. Some of the lyrics are questionable, nice, but questionable nonetheless.
It is encouraged to vary an album from track to track to keep the flow of excitement moving, and yet it can easily become grating that the sounds are just slightly too varied. Each song is enjoyable in its own way, but at times it sounds like a playlist of different bands playing each song rather than them having their own distinctive sound. The band states that their influences are “anyone that plays good music.” – this may be artistic, but the album is contradictory of itself in many ways. Some fans will appreciate its quirkiness, whereas others will marvel at the fact that a meaty electric guitar has been used on the same album that features a ukulele.
Four 0 – Tequila, Salt and Lime