As you shiver over the winter months, body and energy needs something to keep the cold at bay and spirit stomping and Buster Shuffle have just the right tonic in the shape of their new album, I’ll Take What I Want. Bursting with their most virulent and imaginative sound yet, the UK quartet’s fourth full-length mischievously swings and devilishly strolls as it grabs limbs and soul like a rascal puppeteer.
I’ll Take What I Want casts more of the fusion of ska, pop, and rock ‘n roll Buster Shuffle has increasingly pushed and established since emerging back in 2007. Each of their previous albums has added a fresh lick of enterprise and adventure but the street carnival of their latest offering is a whole new ball game and easily the band’s most unique and thrilling proposal yet. Debut album Our Night Out of 2010 swiftly lured acclaim and attention the way of the London outfit subsequently backed by a live success soon seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Holloways, The Wombats, Goldie Lookin’ Chain and Chas ‘n’ Dave, a list which Buster Shuffle over the years has added artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Frank Turner, Drop Kick Murphys, Madness, The Blockheads, The Rifles, and Flogging Molly. The albums Do Nothing and especially Naked has increased their presence and reputation with unerring fun and craft something I’ll Take What I Want can only vigorously escalate.
With their street wise/reflective lyrics and multi-flavoured sound, Buster Shuffle instantly infest ears and appetite with album opener I Don’t Trust a Word You Say. Straight away a rousing wave of vocal and musical temptation surges through ears, vocalist Jet Baker leading the way with his tones and equally potent piano revelry as rhythms swing. Hitting an impossibly contagious stroll part ska, part old school punk with a dash of fellow Brits The Tuesday Club to it, the song instantly has the body bouncing and passions greedy with its boisterous antics.
The forcibly captivating start only continues as We Fall to Pieces steps in with its folk ska rascality, the song like a fusion of Blur and Tankus The Henge around the throbbing lure of Tim Connell’s double bass and the crisp beats of Terry Mascall. Again Baker’s piano and James Stickley’s guitar collude in creative chicanery as the former’s tones and words tantalise across two minutes of instinctively bold rock ‘n’ roll before Pretty Boy swaggers in with its own infectious dynamics and enterprise. Imagine Television Personalities and again Blur bursting in on Bad Manners and you get a flavour of the track’s gorgeous recipe of enticement.
There is no escaping a rich Madness spice within next up See You Next Week, its determinedly infectious canter pure instruction to the body to dance and ears to greedily devour before The Estate takes the listener into the danger and shadows of modern city life with its spunk pop manipulations. Set across two stages, the day light vivacity of its initial stomp is a darkened night lit rush by its departure, song and imagination running with instinctive eagerness to only increase the already rich impact of the release.
I’ll Be in Peckham has a touch of gypsy to its virulent amble next, its seductive yet off-kilter street waltz manna to these ears as pretty much the whole of I’ll Take What I Want to be honest but especially manipulating as it sets up the warm gallop of the album’s madness soaked title track. It is ska pop to get frisky with, hips getting a keen workout as melodies and hooks unite in an irresistible web of catchy temptation.
With a throbbing tuba-esque hook to swing from, Your Mommy Is So Hot for Me is simply ska impishness so easy to devour, the band’s constant humour as virulent as their sound as too their lyrical prowess as shown yet again in the predacious flirtation of The Tables Have Now Turned and the indie punk pop jangle of Take Them All. Both songs tease and tempt with their creative twists and unpredictable turns, all lined with the never relinquishing infectiousness of the Buster Shuffle sound.
The album is completed by the folk littered contagion of Banana Thief, its ska spun carnival also embracing a country twang as tasty as its other infectious ingredients, and finally the instrumental skanking and harmonic seduction of the Outro Song. With its sixties espionage/sci-fi TV theme tune air and not for the first time, the golden hues of backing vocalist Carrie Griffiths radiating, the track is a masterful end to a real treat of an album. Also featuring the keyboard and vocal enterprise of Pete Oag, I’ll Take What I Want is sheer pleasure and addiction in one; quite simply another year high for music.
I’ll Take What I Want is out now via Burning Heart Records on iTunes, Amazon, and other stores.
Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017
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