Monday, 2 February 2015

Album Review: It's A Bomber by Various Artists

For me Bomber Music is one of the finest independent record labels in the country. Started in 2002 as a hobby they have worked closely with some of the very best bands in the underground scene to help release and distribute their music. On the 12th of January they released a compilation album named It’s A Bomber showcasing some of the very best bands who have released music under the Bomber Music name. I just had to review it.

The opening track comes from American/Dutch reggae punks Jaya The Cat. The song Here Comes The Drums from their International Sound Of Hedonism is a real crowd pleaser. It’s instantly recognisable intro always brings a smile to my face and like seeming every Jaya The Cat song it’s incredibly catchy. Expect to be singing the outro’s na na na, na na na na na na na na na for days to come. Keighley’s skacore heroes Random Hand contribute the second song, Anger Management from the album Inhale/Exhale. The opening blasts of Robin Leitch’s trombone will get you tapping your toes before his distinctively Northern vocals sing about keeping you’re cool when you really want to lose your temper. This really is an anthem and features some great harmonies and moments for crowd participation. The track itself is played at quite a slow tempo before building towards a massive breakdown and the song gets heavy. The Roughneck Riot provide some Celtic punk rock with the track Ignorance Is Easy from the album This Is Our Day. Incorporating a mandolin, banjo and accordion to a more traditional punk rock sound, Ignorance Is Easy is a song about looking for answers yourself and not just believing what you are told. The music world needs bands like The Roughneck Riot who are happy to stand up and fight for what they believe in. The Celtic punk sound is continued by Readings Smokey Bastard. The song Wasteland from the album Tales From The Wasteland is an upbeat sounding song with a more than a feel of Flogging Molly to it. It’s great fun and if you can’t enjoy this band you need to stop and take a look at yourself. I’ve still not had the opportunity to see Smokey Bastard live yet but they are at the top of my must see list.

Versus You are the first band on the compilation that I wasn’t already familiar with. A little research and I’ve discovered that they are a punk band from Luxembourg. Their song When It All Goes Down features on their album Moving On. The sure is pure melodic punk rock, featuring catchy and thoughtful lyrics, gang vocals and harmonies and some first class guitar work. The next song comes from Sorry And The Sinatras, who are another band I’m not overly familiar with. The song Valencia from the EP The Kings Of Shambles Street and is a straight up punk rock jam. Starting up with some great bass and drum work before two guitars join the fun and then front man Scott Sorry’s vocal takes the song to another level. Fantastic song from a band I will definitely be checking out some more. Punk rock and roll with horns is the name of the game for the next band, one of my all time favourites – Jesse James. The song Wake Up features on the bands final album, The Assassination Of Jesse James. The horns at the beginning of Wake Up are signature to the band’s sound but that’s not to say that they carry the song. The level of musicianship throughout the song is first class. I really enjoyed how the song seemingly stops toward about a third of the way through the song before building up slowly to one last massive chorus. Having played a handful of shows last year, their first since 2007 I am hoping for some more soon. Legends among the UK underground punk scene.

From some legends to one of the bright lights in the current underground scene, London’s Great Cynics. The song Back To Hackney was one of many highlights from 2013s Like I Belong. Mixing elements of punk, pop and indie music with fantastic song writing and musicianship Great Cynics are a band who should be on everyone’s radar. Up next is a punk rock band from Brazil named End Of Pipe. Punk rock from Brazil! Who knew? The song Jack is from the release Keep Running Clearly influenced by 90s punk such as Samiam and Hot Water Music. The Skints are far and away the biggest success story to come out of the reggae and ska scene. The song Up Against The Wall from 2012s excellent Part and Parcel is a great showcase of what The Skints are all about. Mixing reggae, dub and a bit of hip hop it’s easy to see why these four Londoners are getting bigger and bigger. This year see’s the band release their third full length album FM and it will no doubt push The Skints on to even more well deserved success. The sound of Jamaica is continued by the best band ever to come out of my home town Colchester, it’s of course the New Town Kings. The song Luna Rosa comes from 2014s EP Pull Up and Rewind, the first release featuring new vocalist Dabs. As a group of musicians I don’t think any band can hold a candle to these guys and since the arrival of Dabs the song writing has got up from an already high level.

The Smoking Hearts turn up the volume on the next song, Seatbelts from the album Victory! This is high octane, 100mph, in your face punk rock. Featuring a huge amount of gang vocals which makes the song feel like you’re at a massive, if slightly aggressive punk rock party. The Smoking Hearts don’t hold back on anything here, you just know they’ve put ounce of energy and passion they have in this track and every other song they have written. The Forum Walters are one of the most interesting bands I have heard in a long while. Formed in Austria in 2006 they play fun, upbeat punk rock and roll. The song Rightswing features a split 7” with Jaya The Cat. Another band I really wat to see live! When I began listening to the final track by 7 Day Conspiracy I felt like I was at a carnival. Then it quickly became a punk rock carnival (probably the best kind of carnival). I had to listen to some more of their songs and discovered they don’t all sound like this. 7 Day Conspiracy flick between all manner on punk rock genres and are another fantastically unique act. The song Berkshire Hunt features on a split with Goober Patrol.

It’s A Bomber is a fantastic celebration of some of the fantastic music they have put out over the years. Long may it continue. 

You can buy it here for a great price:

Now listen to You Will Never Want For Love by Floating Bear

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