This month sees the new romping stomping album from Canadian outfit K-Man & The 45s uncaged, a release which had the body bouncing and spirit roaring like a teenage boy after his first sexual adventure. The band creates a contagious proposition from a fusion of ska and rockabilly spiced classic rock ‘n’ roll with plenty more involved, a recipe providing their finest feast of sound yet within their self-titled full-length.
Hailing from Montreal, K-Man & The 45s has been a constant and acclaimed presence on the Canadian music scene; their records luring keen praise and support and live presence just as rich plaudits and a matching reputation. The band has shared stages with the likes of The Slackers, Big D and The Kids Table, The Satellites, The Original Wailers , The Planet Smashers, The Brains and so many more as well as graced and ignite a host of festivals across their homeland over the years. It is easy to suggest that their new album is their greatest moment yet and even easier to eagerly push it towards the attention of ska, punk and rock ‘n’ roll fans alike with the band embracing the inspirations of bands such as The Specials, The Beat, The Ramones, and The Cramps among their influences though it is fair to say K-Man and co have successfully nurtured their own individual character of sound as in thick evidence across the new record now getting its deserved push via Stomp Records.
Opener They Gotta Know had us hooked with its first breath, a classic rock ‘n roll guitar lure entangling ears and appetite before the song leaps into its punk rock swing. The jangle of Kman’s guitar flirts as the beats of Brian Smith arouse against the melodic dance of an organ; a potent enticement only enhanced by the dancing flames of Josh Michaud’s trombone and the trumpet of Seb Fournier. Bouncing along to the track’s body and stroll is inevitable, we can testify to that, as the song gets the album off to a rousing start.
The following Poppy’s Back In Town is just as manipulative, its rowdier rock colluding with the animated canter of keys and guitar with, as in its predecessor and every song, Kman’s vocal mischief leading the fun. Lively melodies and lustful hooks line its boisterous stroll before I Don’t Mind wheels in with an instantly appealing breeze easily reminding of The Beat. The band soon adds its own distinct colour to the song, adding a vocal backing in which participation is simply unavoidable. Smith’s clipping beats just get under the skin too, the brass n turn into the passions as the track lustily manipulates body and spirit.
Rudy Don’t Smoke equally had the body dangling from its virulent strands of sound and enterprise; its ska and punk collusion a devilish puppeteer with a glint in the eye of its imagination before Piece Of The Action bursts in with drama and intrigue which would not be out of place in the theme to a sixties TV spy/private detective show. With a Department S-esque hue to its theatre, the song is more than a match for the lofty heights of its predecessors as too the cosmic adventure of Space Thriller. Bringing the atmospheric prowess of The Specials into a surf rock spiced ska saunter the track has the same level of drama and intimation as the last song, its story a sultry seduction of lust and danger descriptively shaped by brass led enterprise.
Through the punk ‘n’ roll/ska bred stomp of Road Rage Randy and the fifties rock ‘n’ roll seeded ska spin of This Moment, pleasure only escalates with the album, each adding a new shade of sound and mischief to its party before a great cover of The Kingpins’ Party in Ja joins the fun. Giving its reggae nurtured catchiness a Ruts like dub makeover the track pulsates on the senses as again the body is lost to an instinctive bounce.
Next up is Johnny Thumbs a track which maybe did not inflame the passions as others around it but still made for the most enjoyable playmate before the outstanding Far Away Eyes Come Home simply became a love affair with ears. From its revolving hooks and melodic enticement to vocal and rhythmic invitation, the song devoured inhibitions.
The album finishes with another gem in What’s Inside A Girl, a glorious garage punk and rockabilly spun tease with a healthy psychobilly and surf rock glaze led by yet another delicious bassline among so many across the album from Frankie amidst the perpetual rhythmic incitement of Smith. The song epitomises the craft, sound, and contagious exploits of K-Man & The 45s perfectly whilst at the same time sealing its best track moment though that is debated with each and every listen.
K-Man & The 45s is a band which deserves the biggest attention within the ska, punk, and simply great rock ‘n’ roll world; all the reasons are in their new album so no hanging around go have fun.
Recently the sad news that drummer Brian Smith has terminal pancreatic cancer was announced and a Go Fund Me page set up to support him and his family. To help out this great musician and friend to so many go to https://gofundme.com/support-brian-our-brother
The K-Man & The 45s album is out digitally and on vinyl now @ https://k-manthe45s.bandcamp.com/album/k-man-the-45s
Pete RingMaster 14/08/2018
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