“The torchbearers for modern British reggae music” Clash
“Fresh Brit reggae” David Rodigan MBE, BBC Radio 1Xtra
East London reggae four-piece The Skints unveil their highly anticipated third album ‘FM’, set for release through Easy Star Records on 9th March 2015.
Pulling from various influences as disparate as Tenor Saw, The Shirelles, Wiley, Jimmy Cliff, and Black Flag, ‘FM’ is The Skints’ fitting tribute to the radio culture they love as music fans. Progressing through the bubbling sound of grime and garage to summertime sound system reggae, roots, dancehall, traditional rocksteady, Motown soul and punk, the group takes listeners on a whistle-stop tour of the capital’s underground culture.
Set on the hottest day in the city on record at imaginary London pirate radio station The Big FM / Frequency Murderation, 103.Skints, we encounter four radio shows over the course of the broadcast. Kicked off by original London reggae legend Tippa Irie, he welcomes listeners to the ‘Breakfast Show’ as alter ego DJ Mr Versatile and proceeds to spin ‘This Town’, featuring Tippa himself along with MC Horseman, who showcases here his first recorded work with The Skints. A celebratory ode to London, this opener represents the good side to the city through the sounds of 80s Saxon style reggae dancehall, and joins ‘My War’ – a Black Flag cover – as an instant grat upon digital and physical pre-order of the album.
After the band demonstrates their punk roots with the reggae-steppers-influenced ‘In the Night’ (feat. Horseman), Dr. Ranking Pegasus (Horseman) presents the ‘Dancehall Dilemmas’ show, featuring a call-in from listener Danny, who reveals he has put on a dance with the record’s producer Prince Fatty, only for Fatty to scarper with all the money that’s come through the door. The reported theft is fittingly followed by the infectious ‘Friends & Business’, a soulful ska track about the biting nature of the music industry.
Continuing its journey around town, next stop is ‘Grime Hour’ with MC Rival’s alter ego Rivz, advertising a rave at the now repossessed Stratford Rex, before introducing the album’s lead track ‘Eyes In The Back Of My Head’, featuring Rival himself. A grimy affair with a warning tone, it’s a song about the liars, thieves and cheats that lurk the streets, with a heavy bass line that mimics the dark subject matter.
To complete the twists and turns of its London adventure, ‘FM’ ends with Mr Versatile’s evening session, playing out the show with the beautiful ‘Tomorrow’, whose chorus ‘Don’t you worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow won’t be worrying about you’ provides the perfect refrain to set the world to rights.
With ‘FM’, listeners will hear a band that has come a long way from their humble beginnings as punk ragga urchins. Having left the squats behind, they’ve been regularly performing at Europe’s largest festivals and on London’s most renowned stages since the success of their debut album ‘Live. Breathe. Build. Believe’ in 2010, gaining acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra’s David Rodigan, The Guardian and Clash, who summarise their style brilliantly as ‘fusing a skanking beat with lyrics which speak clearly about everyday life in the UK.’
A comprehensive piece of work that continues to showcase the accessible blend of Caribbean styles with an East London twist for which they have become famed, ‘FM’ may just be The Skints’ most accomplished release to date. What’s more, with a headline tour of the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany confirmed for April, plus their debut USA venture booked for May, this group of reggae-dub upstarts have truly hit the big-time.
01. FM: DJ MR VERSATILE BREAKFAST SHOW
02. THIS TOWN (FEAT. TIPPA IRIE & HORSEMAN)
03. IN THE NIGHT (FEAT. HORSEMAN)
04. COME TO YOU
05. MY WAR
06. FM: DANCEHALL DILEMMAS WITH DR. RANKING PEGASUS
07. FRIENDS & BUSINESS
08. WHERE DID YOU GO?
09. TAZER BEAM (FEAT. TIPPA IRIE)
10. THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
11. FM: GRIME HOUR WITH RIVZ
12. EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD (FEAT. RIVAL)
13. GOT NO SAY
14. FM: DJ MR. VERSATILE EVENING SESSION
APRIL 2015 UK TOUR DATES
13.04.15 Norwich Epic Studios
14.04.15 Leeds Stylus
16.04.15 Edinburgh Studio 24
17.04.15 Manchester Gorilla
18.04.15 Birmingham Library at the Institute
19.04.15 Bristol Circus of Boom
21.04.15 London 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire