Review: The Skints – FM

Review: The Skints – FM

The Skints – FM
TheSkintsTrack Listing:
1.) FM: DJ Mr. Versatile Breakfast Show
2.) This Town (ft. Tippa Irie & Horseman)
3.) In The Night (ft. Horseman)
4.) Come To You
5.) My War
6.) FM: Dancehall Dilemmas with Dr. Ranking Pegasus
7.) Friends & Business
8.) Where Did You Go
9.) Tazer Beam (ft. Tippa Irie)
10.) The Forest For The Trees
11.) FM: Grime Hour With Rivz
12.) Eyes In The Back of My Head (ft. Rival)
13.) Got No Say
14.) FM: DJ Mr. Versatile Evening Session
15.) Tomorrow

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Record Label: Easy Star Records
Official Website: The Skints Website

Artist Background:
The Skints are a band from London, United Kingdom. The Skints mix reggae, ska, dub, punk & hip-hop, dubbing their sound as ‘East London Reggae’. Since 2008 the band have toured extensively, playing hundreds of shows, supporting bands that include The King Blues, The English Beat (The Beat UK), The Aggrolites, Gym Class Heroes, You Me at Six, Sublime with Rome, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, The Slackers, Gogol Bordello and Bedouin Soundclash.

Album Review:
The UK has always had a special connection with dub and roots reggae music, from the introduction of dub into the exploding punk scene by Don letts in 70’s, Bob Marley taking refuge in the country and finding inspiration in that same punk scene or the many soundsytems that kept roots alive throughout the 80’s and 90’s when dancehall was taking over. The East London band the Skints is crossing the pond with a massive sound bringing all that London has to offer with them, from grime to ragga to dub… And they are doing it proper.

Back in the day it seemed like every band was using skits and samples to tell a story apart from the songs in a collection of work, the most notable successes here in my opinion were Sublime’s 40oz to Freedom & Robbin the hood or Stay Human by Michael Franti and Spearhead. FM follows this approach and gives us the listen in on the hottest day in London history on Radio Skints. This is a great way to give the listeners a little flavor from the melting pot of UK’s musical culture. This really adds a depth and color to this record that kept me hooked on listening.

Coming in hot with “This Town” (collaboration with UK Dancehall legend Tippa Irie alongside Horseman) this track is full of digital percussion, dub treatments and a great hook giving love to their London hometown. You can’t help but draw the comparison of the track Come To You to another British songstress, Hollie Cook. This short track is beautifully sung over a nice rock steady rhythm.

“Friends and Business” is a ska number that takes a detour over in Motown and really shines on the cleverness of the content of this album. At the end of the day the Skints are singing about what every other band sings about, but it is in their wording and imagery that makes them unique song writers. Later on in the album I got this same sense listening to “Forest for the Trees”.

“Tazer Beam” is a hip hop / reggae mashup over the Tenor Saw Jehovia riddim tackling police brutality and violence in the street. “Got No Say” may be the only song on the record I am not “goo goo” for, however it is a good song just seems like a far departure from the rest of the release.

FM ends on the longest track of the album, “Tomorrow”, which simply put, is about living in the moment and respecting the present… A very well done song.

The Skints and their album FM have it all, talented and soulful lead female and male vocalists, a great rhythm section, insane style and delivery and enough clout to bring along some pretty talented guests. The Skints take ska/rocksteady, dub, hip hop/grime and dancehall and deliver a unique sound that will find a far reaching audience. They somehow manage to bring nostalgic vibes to their modern sound which, rightfully so, has already garnered significant attention on BBC Radio 1.

The Skints are equal part The Specials, The Dead 60’s and Prince Fatty – With a slathering of Roots Manuva and Lily Allen tossed in. I can’t say enough good things about this release. I was especially impressed with the production and ability to get very creative with effects without having it sound forced or busy. I highly recommend this album to everyone!

Written & Reviewed By: Tommy Dubs

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

Watch: The Skints – “This Town” (ft. Tippa Irie & Horseman)