From the first note of their debut album the contagion that is Brighton band The Junk infects and grips tight, their robust infectious fevered ska core sounds emerging as an immense and totally satisfying experience that one eagerly returns to time and time again.
Problem Reaction Solution released 12th September via 12 Step/Bad Mood Records is the follow up to the band’s impressive and strongly acclaimed 2009 EP Novus Ordo Sectorum. Within its fourteen vibrant tracks The Junk push a varied array of addictive sounds into the ear bringing a freshness to already explored sounds and new flavours, their ska core punk flavours raging with defiant blood pumping energy and siren like deep melodic hooks.
Full to the rim with expressive and rousing horns alongside stirring riffs and hooks the album is also a striking punk fuelled aggressive and highly charged release lined with political rage and caustic wit. It has to be said Problem Reaction Solution does not particularly stray too far from a sound that numerous other bands deliver in varying degrees but the octet realise the genre with more style and instinctive intricate touches and spices that most never imagine let alone bring to their music.
The album starts with ‘I.V.B.K.‘ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’ both forceful and relentless if not too far from expectation of a good ska punk band. Certainly though they set the album off to a strong start with their blend of heavy beats and animated ska strikes and skanking guitars.
Things truly take off with the next track and a title as direct and memorable as the great sounds attributed to it. ‘Nick Griffin Is A Cunt’ instantly hits the mark, with a jazz punk edge to its strut, the song a party in the ear and testament to the bands skill at fusing power and aggression in sound and lyrical content to senses pleasuring bursts of inspired melodies.
Each and every track on the album is accomplished and bustling with addictive energy but a few tracks step forth to take the album to greater heights. ‘Left For Dead with a punchy attack reminding of King Prawn, ‘Rise And Shine’ pulsing with a deep bassline alongside the lively horns, the pulsating ‘Sleepy Panda Wobble Time’, and the live favourite ‘Scream Your Dreams’ all place the album and The Junk as a band with the future of the genre in their hands.
The albums’ best track ‘D.T.S.F.C.’ pushes the envelope even higher, its punk ska flavour laced with clever intricacies and insertions like the glorious violin sound from guest musician Simon Yapp and a great vocal delivery which at times melds a UK Subs vocal attack onto a [spunge] melody frame remains win the ear long after the track has laid to rest its last note, quality indeed.
As mentioned one can hear other bands such as Capdown and Random Hand, and in the second part of ‘Politics With Nightsticks’ the Ruts, but the same can be said of every band in this style of sound, there is a common denominator that firmly links the music no matter who brings it to the ear. The Junk and the Dave Chang produced Problem Reaction Solution though decisively adds an inventive unflinching upbeat sound on top of the engaging ska appeal making them and their debut album an essential listen.