London ska punks Filthy Militia release their second EP, Coping Mechanism, on the 4th of February with the help of Pookout Records. After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the band went into the studio with Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios to record five new songs. Because I’m a very special boy, guitarist and lead singer Frosty sent me an early copy. Here are my thoughts.
Coping Mechanism begins with Another Day. The song starts off with a great drum beat before some brass comes in. This gets the EP off to an energetic start. Then the music stops and some upstrokes alongside Frosty’s vocals start – and he’s almost rapping. This is a new thing and I like it. When the chorus comes in I get some strong Call Me Malcolm vibes which isn’t too surprising given that Filthy Militia are fans of the band and Craggs is also their producer. If you enjoy Malcolm then you’ll also enjoy this. The second track is Differences. This song is pure joy contained in four minutes and thirty seven seconds of music and singing. The track is about how everyone is different but that’s what makes each person special and how we should embrace those differences rather than arguing about them. The horns at the beginning put a smile on my face immediately, like I said – they are pure joy. The opening verse keeps things quiet until the chorus comes in and the tempo is raised. The band are definitely embracing the punk part of the ska punk genre more so than they did on their debut EP. It’s also fantastic to hear the band using gang vocals more – they really give the song a fuller sound.
Beatdown sees Filthy Militia slow things down and enter the world of dub. I’ve never heard the band go down this musical path before and it’s nice to see them spreading their musical wings and showing a bit more variety. The track is about coming together and fighting back against the people that try and hold you down. The more restrained nature of the song really drives home the message that the track is spreading. The penultimate song on Coping Mechanism is Land Of The Dead. Picking the tempo back up, Filthy Militia return to their ska punk sound but also add in some gypsy influence. I’ve seen this song live and it certainly has some Gogol Bordello influence to it. It is a very welcome addition to the band’s live set. The final section of the song features a huge chanting section that builds and builds and is a whole lot of fun! The final song on the EP is Don’t You Look Back. The band made and released a lockdown video for the track last year that you should definitely check out. It’s here. This was the perfect choice to bridge the band’s first EP, Innocent Until Proven Filthy, and Coping Mechanism. The track has more of the ska pop sound that can be found on Until Proven but also has the up tempo edge that the band have brought in for this EP. Don’t You Look Back is about chasing your dreams and not worrying about things that have happened previously. A nice positive message to end a nice positive EP.
On Coping Mechanism, Filthy Militia have really stepped things up another level. I really enjoyed Innocent Until Proven Filthy but Coping Mechanism showcases a band who have spent the last few years growing and improving as a band. I expect this EP will earn the band a lot more fans and propel them on to even bigger and better things.
Filthy Militia are hosting an EP launch show at The Black Heart in Camden on Saturday the 12th of February, make sure you get a ticket and pop along.
Check out Coping Mechanism when it is released on 4th of February and, in the meantime, you can find their previous releases on Bandcamp here.
Like Filthy Militia on Facebook here.
This review was written by Colin Clark.