Popes Of Chillitown – Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard

Releases which have us throwing feet, hips, and bodies around in an uninhibited frenzy are just as boisterously devoured here as those provoking thoughts and imagination into the same eager exploits. Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard, the new album from UK outfit Popes Of Chillitown is one such example, an encounter which stirs up every aspect of the human spirit across thirteen slices of what for the moment we will simply call ska punk but is so much more. The band and release swiftly had the body bouncing, energies uncaged, and mind feeding off its insightful social and personal lyrical intimation. It is one of those unforgettable, deviously manipulative propositions which will surely set Popes Of Chillitown on the way to being a household name far beyond the ska and punk scene.

From London, Popes Of Chillitown has already bred and nurtured a fine reputation across two albums and a live presence which has had venues and bodies bouncing, as the album now, with lustful participation. 2013 saw the release of their pledge-funded debut album A Word To The Wise, a keenly embraced encounter eclipsed by its even more eagerly received successor To The Moon two years later. Since that first offering, the sextet has further lit up the live scene, from the Capital bursting across the UK and into Europe sharing stages with the likes of Reel Big Fish, The Selecter, The Skints, Imperial Leisure, [Spunge], Mouthwash, The Snare and many more along the way.

As Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard swiftly reveals, the band’s sound has an irresistibility which borders on the viral. It is a fusion of upbeat ska, punk, 2-tone, dub, drum & bass, reggae, indie with plenty more flavoursome spices working away in the mix; a rousing incitement which never flirts with the predictable and across the new album, easily the band’s finest moment yet, persistently has body, imagination, and spirit bounding.

Straight away as intrigue coaxes ears there is a sense of drama and mischief at play which swiftly sparks opener Prang into life, the track springing along with wilful exuberance. The guitar of Tom Penn winds around ears from an already persuasive hook spraying stroll while the rhythmic prowess of bassist Arvin Bancil and drummer Jack Ashley gets under the skin in no time. Matt Conner’s rousing vocals are just as effective, listener participation we found inevitable and can keen testify to. The track is superb, its twist into discord and off kilter imagination icing on the stomp.

The flames of trombonist Ieuan Williams and saxophonist Jon Pryce open up the following Get Off/Get On, lighting the way to another persuasive saunter ridden by the increasingly captivating vocals of Conner. There is a touch of [Spunge] meets King Prawn to the track, a tasty flavouring quickly ignited by the band’s own raucously individual enterprise.

Fair to say Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard already had its temptation racing through our veins in two songs but raised the temperature of its persuasion even more with next up Vexed. Cored by a hook which had ears and appetite dangling like a fish on a rod as well as a glorious teasing yet taunting grumble of a bassline, the track instantly took the album’s seductive clamour to another level. Brewing an addictive roar something akin to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones meets Capdown with the rawer edge of The Hostiles, the track simply and quickly had us enslaved and adding our less able attributes.

The equally outstanding No Manners In Ireland is next, the song a web of twists and turns littered with creative hooks and melodic lures which seduce like sonic sirens. Guitars and vocals dance on the swagger of the rhythms, their dark lined joy seared with the soulful flames of brass as the song evolves in form and imagination across four minutes plus of pure magnetism. Its glory is matched by that of the far briefer but just as riveting Graveyard. A dub infested mix of Skindred and again King Prawn, the slither of a track just ignited the senses before Upside Down got the body rocking and rolling with its almost salacious bounce and antics.

Across the fiery ska fuelled punk ‘n’ roll of The Last Elephant and the swinging holler of Mr. Piotr, physical reaction is inescapable as thoughts invest in more of the band’s lyrical inference, both tracks cauldrons of drama and physical manipulation so easy to devour while the likes of What A Guy and Inner Peace add yet more variety and adventure to the album’s beauty. The first erupts from a haunting melancholic sigh into another inescapable to resist canter, voice and hips soon embroiled in its creative romp before its companion smoulders seductively on the senses with its less boisterous but just as tenacious reflection. From guitars to rhythms, brass to voice, the song serenades and seduces; volatility in its heart adding greater depth to its inventive cry and increasingly rising temperature and intensity.

Take Control is punk rock blessed with the ear clipping tenacity of ska; a rousing trespass of an incitement under a sweltering climate of suggestion cast by sax and trombone. Unsurprisingly again indulgence in its swing is unavoidable, a lack of discipline thankfully the whole of Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard exploits.

The album closes up with firstly the melodically shimmering Lego Prisoners, a track resembling what you might imagine emerging from the essences of Ruts DC, The Skints, and a calm Random Hand being locked in together, and lastly Culpa and its reggae brewed saunter where grooves and beats overwhelm restraints even before voice and hooks sink their temptation into ears.

It all makes for one deliciously riveting and rousing adventure going by the name of Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard. Popes Of Chillitown has been firing up the ska and punk scene pretty much from their first days but are now ready to be spoken in the same breath as those bands which immediately come to mind as inspirations to the across the array of styles the Londoners skilfully embrace and employ in their own adventure. After Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard they might just be the first name to lips.

Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard is out now on 12inch vinyl, CD and Digital Download @ https://popesofchillitown.bandcamp.com/album/work-hard-play-hard-see-you-in-the-graveyard

 

Upcoming Popes Of Chillitown tour dates:

MAY 27 – BOURNEMOUTH Cursus Festival

JUN 02 – NOTTINGHAM The Maze

JUN 09 – CHEPSTOW Balter Festival

AUG 04 – BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival

AUG 09 – NEWCASTLE Trillians*

AUG 10 – GLASGOW Audio*

AUG 11 – LONDON Underworld*

AUG 12 – WINCHESTER Boomtown Fair

*w/ Fishbone

http://www.popesofchillitown.com/   https://www.facebook.com/PopesOfChillitown    https://twitter.com/popesofctown

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skaciety Featuring Laila K – Step Back (Take a Look Around)

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 _RingMaster Review

With the second Skaciety album in the works, it is hard not to be a little excited in anticipation for its subsequent arrival thanks to new single Step Back (Take a Look Around). Also featuring Laila K from Sonic Boom Six, the track is the instinctive arousal of feet, hips, and emotions from a band that, if you can go by just one song, seem to have hit another plateau in sound and creative fun.

art_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2012, the British ska punks has been a feverish live surge of aural good times across the UK since emerging, even though its members are still in full time education. Meeting and forming the band as students at a school in Sittingbourne, the Kent quintet of vocalist/bassist Aiden Lamb, trombonist Benjamin Davison, trumpeter Harry Whatrup, guitarist Logan Haddrell, and drummer Will Freed have persistently roused audiences at shows and festivals around Britain, including playing Rebellion twice. They have also raised a sizeable amount of funds for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation along the way and released well-received debut album, .​.​.​For Your Age in 2014. Currently working on their second full-length with producer Dave Chang (Capdown, Lightyear, 4ft Fingers), Skaciety first tease and tempt with Step Back (Take a Look Around), a track taken from a recently released spilt 10” with the equally irresistible Popes Of Chillitown.

Guitar and vocals make the first potent lure, with the recognisable and always richly enticing tones of Laila K inviting attention within a few breaths or so. Whilst the early coaxing has its successful way with ears and appetite, dark bait from Lamb’s strings similarly worms under the skin. It prowls the song, especially courting the vocal collusion between the bassist and Laila K’s to add a potent contrast as catchy jagged riffs and the tenacious swings of Freed create their own contagious web to get caught up in. Add the evocative flames sprung from the lips of Whatrup and Davison, as well as the increasingly expanding sonic tapestry cast by Haddrell, and quite simply the song is a thick and lusty arousal of the senses and passions.

With a finale which no set of feet or hips can surely resist, Step Back (Take a Look Around) is a feel good stomp to push Skaciety and expectations of their future album to new heights.

Step Back (Take a Look Around) is out now via Reacharound Records.

https://www.facebook.com/Skaciety   https://twitter.com/skaciety??I    https://instagram.com/skaciety

Upcoming Skaciety Gigs:

January 23rd – Harp Restrung, Folkestone

January 30th – T Chances, Tottenham

February 12th – Wheatsheaf, Banbury

February 13th – Retro Bar, Manchester

February 20th – Phoenix, High Wycombe

February 27th – James Street Vaults, Plymouth

April 1st – Red Lion, Ramsgate

April 9th – Inverness (Venue TBC)

April 10th – Edinburgh (Venue TBC)

April 11th – Glasgow (Venue TBC)

May 26-29th – Nice N Sleazy Festival, Morecambe

June 4th – Squires Bar, Leeds

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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