Robb Blake - Ain't Got No Soul

Robb Blake - Ain't Got No Soul

Robb Blake

Ain’t Got No Soul

Released: 5th Apr 2010

Genre: Ska

Label: Do The Dog Music

Rating: 3.0/5

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Robb Blake presents to us a very impressive ska album giving us a mixture of a heavier ska punk sound to a more mellow reggae sound. The whole album sounds like a complete band despite it being recorded by a solo artist. Each song is made up of basic guitar, bass and drum lines played in a typical ska style. Blake is particularly impressive with his vocals on the record singing every song in good harmony fitting perfectly with the rest of the music.

One problem with this album is that although every song is good, they are all good in the same way when you get half way through this album it starts to get a bit repetitive. Blake does give us a mix of ska punk and more mellow reggae but he doesn’t give us much more, not many tracks stand out and bring more excitement and experimentation to the record, making it less exciting towards the end of the album.

Despite the problem with the album it is easily one of the best ska releases this year and is a great soundtrack to the summer. The songs on this album sound made to listen to in the sun, Robb Blake is defiantly one to keep an eye on for all fans of ska.

~ Article by Chris Fishlock

Listen To: Ain’t Got No Soul, Hit The Bottle, What You Do

For Fans of: Dirty Revolution, Resolution 242, The Skints, The Slackers

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Resolution 242 - Resolution 242

Resolution 242 - Resolution 242

Resolution 242

Resolution 242

Released: Unknown

Genre: Reggae / Punk

Label: Do The Dog Music

Rating: 4.1/5

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Politically driven reggae group Resolution 242, through their debut self-titled release, have showcased some of the best musical creativity available on the reggae/ska orientated Do The Dog Music record label. Resolution 242 is a record that effectively captures lively reggae instrumentals in combination with a clear and powerful left wing message. The Stratford based three-piece are undeniably superb lyricists, and for the listener, the messages and motives behind each track act as the catalyst for creating an extremely convincing final product.

Although Resolution 242 is a very lyrically potent release, the instrumental side of the record should not be overlooked. In opening track, Bullets In The Ground, the contagious bass guitar riffs and melodic chorus are the obvious elements that make the song so captivating: “rise up, rise up, take your head from your hands / the streets will be a better place, when we stop taking demands”. Throughout second track, I.M.F, Resolution 242 truly demonstrate their ability to write passionately and convincingly. Resolution 242‘s use of anecdotal lyrics helps to boost their political views, such as their opinions on materialism and capitalism – “these digits are a fallacy”.

Not every track takes a complex, lyrical path to emphasise opinion; Pigs and Poets Town both deliver reggae hooks that stimulate comparisons to the like of The King Blues, suggesting Resolution 242 know how to deliver a memorable track as well as a political exposition. One of the highlights of the album comes towards the latter end of War Crimes, closing with a persuasive voice over reinforcing the Resolution 242 warning of media manipulation and their stance “against tyranny”.

It’s fairly evident that the social messages carried by Resolution 242 as a band and as a record are the central focus, therefore for some it may be difficult to engage with the music as well as those with corresponding beliefs. This may well be a factor that somewhat limits the bands success, however, it’s evident that the sole aim of Resolution242 is to create enjoyable and influential music – and in each sector they are highly successful.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: Bullets In The Ground, War Crimes, Poets Town, I.M.F.

For Fans Of: The Skints, Dirty Revolution, The King Blues, Mouthwash



Rebel Alliance Recordings

Rebel Alliance Recordings

Rebel Alliance Tour 2010

Venue: The Cockpit

Location: Leeds

Date: Feb 16 2010

Label: Rebel Alliance

Rating: 4.4/5

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Rebel Alliance Recordings is run by Manchester ska punk group Sonic Boom Six. The label, excluding SB6, now has four bands signed up following the signing of new London based reggae band, The Skints. The Rebel Alliance tour featured Random Hand, Mouthwash and Chris Murray as well as The Skints.

Chris Murray opened the gig alongside two members of The Skints, hence the stage name Chris Murray and Friends. The Canadian born musician was a fitting opener to the show, offering a slice of feel-good ska and reggae to get the crowd moving. Mouthwash were the second band to take to the stage, and they certainly offered a more punk-orientated display. The south London five piece created a high energy set, bringing the small venue to life. In their fifteenth year together, it was clear that the ska-punk outfit knew how to structure an energetic performance; with tracks such as That Girl breaking up the more up-beat tracks.

The third band to take to the stage were reggae band, The Skints. With the recent release of their debut album; Live.Build.Breathe.Believe, it was evident that The Skints were what a large proportion of the crowd had come to see. As always, The Skints put on a top class show, blending in and out of songs immaculately to keep the crowd moving right until the end of the set. On top of showcasing the songs from the bands new album, demonstrations of one or two new songs sounded very promising.

The headliners for the night, understandably, were Leeds based (or close enough) Random Hand. The ska-punk four piece weren’t about to let energy levels fall for their headlining set, demanding circle pits and even a wall of death for the final song, perhaps not overly suitable for the small venue, but good fun all the less. The band played a range of songs including the single, Anger Management and The Right Reasons.

For £8 entry, not only did the Rebel Alliance Tour offer four great bands, but also great value for money. Sonic Boom Six have a wealth of talent behind their record label, from a bunch of bands who clearly care about the music and the people.

~ Article by James Murray