There are some sounds and records which may be firmly bred in a certain style or flavour but organically transcend boundaries to appeal to a diverse multitude of appetites. UK punks The Filaments and new album Look to the Skies epitomise that quality, its overwhelming energy, captivation, and simply rousing escapades posing as songs instinctive pleasure for almost anyone with a passion for creative fun.
With their debut album released in 2001, The Filaments has become one of punk’s finest and richly established propositions if not quite sparking the tide of success and awareness their songs and releases have deserved. Even the disbanding of the Chelmsford septet in 2005 has not diluted their creative prowess; in fact since reforming in 2009 the band has just tapped into a richer vein of writing and sound for our ears, with Look to the Skies their finest offering yet.
Bred from a punk heart as classic as it is bold, The Filaments’ sound just as keenly and instinctively embraces the rich hues of ska, 2-tone, Oi and more. Straight away Look To The Skies relishes this creative appetite and zeal, opener Fuck The Alt”-Right driving through ears with raw energy and attitude fuelled by its street punk breath. There is a great Stiff Little Fingers lilt to the short but explosive start to the album, its aural discontent mutually uncompromising and contagious.
Look To The Skies follows up its great start with its title track, another swiftly virulent encounter with a ska nurtured swing to its punk roar reminding of another of the UK’s finest in The Vox Dolomites. Hammond spiced keys add to its tide of lures, the duo of guitars and vocals a raucous incitement alongside and even more manipulative in next up Rip-Off World. More ska punk than ska spiced punk rock, the song had bodies bouncing and vocal chords blazing within seconds, only encouraging greater participation as it upped its magnetic enterprise and infection.
With barely a breath allowed from the listener between songs, album and band incite even greater involvement with the catchy punk ‘n’ roll holler of No Men To Parade. Something akin to Flogging Molly meets Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions to try and tag its individuality, the song is viral infection with a just as magnetic snarl and lyrical snagging.
As manipulative as their energy and catchy prowess is so is the diversity to the band’s sound which is emphasized by the emotive serenade and drama of the following Living In The Crosshairs. Like Rancid crooning with The Members, the song just got under the skin, brass and keys warm caresses to its rhythmic enticement before Underdogs sets the album’s bounce at its loftiest. The track is superb, an invasion of invention and flavoursome fun which has every limb and deed locked in its sights and persuasion in quick time. It also echoes another great trait to the band’s sound, its seemingly familiar sounding uniqueness and relentless freshness; here a seductive Ruts DC scented dub twist adding to the lure.
Tread Carefully is just as insatiable in its hunger to get the listener leaping whilst snarling at the world; sounds, vocals, and words in rapacious league to infest and incite which it does with undiluted success for two breath taking minutes while its successor Ask No Favors shares four minutes plus of melodic flirtation lined with Madness-esque poppiness as drama builds syllable by syllable, note by note in tandem with pleasure.
The dirtier roar of All We’ve Ever Known leaves body exhausted and lungs empty next, another track hard to evade raucously joining in with, but somehow the album draws another burst of energy in both as within a breath of its predecessor, The Verge uncages its irresistible deeds and coaxing.
Killing Machine brings things to a mighty close, the track a punk driven rebellion with psychobilly devilry and ferocious virulence.
We could go on about the triumphs of Look to the Skies for numerous more paragraphs but the bottom-line is it is an album which attacks, consumes, and excites from start to finish with as mentioned barely a breath from release or listener being taken. It is not an album for punks; it is a release for anyone who loves rousing rock ‘n’ roll.
Look to the Skies is available now via Pirates Press Records and @ https://thefilaments.bandcamp.com/album/look-to-the-skies
Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright