July 23, 2024

New Town Kings – “Reach Out” – a summery package of swinging British reggae

NEW TOWN KINGS                                     27th April 2018

Ten years on from their debut album New Town Kings are stacking up fifty gigs a year. This album, their third, has a great roots sound, updated and widened as well as lots of up-tempo stuff, ska and summery dancing tunes.

The opener, Reach Out, is inspirational while Borderline is an angry martial chink chink chink on the inhumanity and racism in managing immigration. Some swinging ska-pop about hard luck romance follows and British Summer is a bouncy horn-infused paean with tongue-in-cheek humour. Deep water brings more chunka chunka summery music and some nice call and response singing on a salutary tale.

Deep organ notes signal some more rich skanking on an anodyne song about music. Still sounds great though. Francine is more bouncy ska with the spirit of a blues / soul review. If Dr Feelgood played ska, it would have sounded like this. Burn Babylon, unsurprisingly is warm roots mixing police sirens into a message of inspiration to rising up against iniquity. Long Long Road is another anthem; a gentle one, full of kindness instead of anger. Coconut Tree is summer ska. A lovely dream of tropical island life. A great grooving horn-led instrumental follows. Fine, Fine, Fine is more sunshine. You getting the idea? This would make a great single. The closer, Daddy, is full of cute sweetness about love for a daughter

The album as a whole is light of touch, full of light and energy; a delightful summer album, keeping the reggae flame alive.

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