From the grimy depths of East London, The Skints have been pumping out their unique brand of punk sprinkled reggae for 8 long years. From the back of dingy pubs to festivals and beyond the band have been slowly but surely making their way up the popularity ladder throughout the country. With the wind in their sails they have returned off the back of last years ‘Short Change’ EP with their first full length since 2012’s ‘Part & Parcel’ attempting to take the airwaves back the only way they know how and make everyone just chill out a bit for at least half an hour or so.
Throughout ‘FM’ interludes play out imitating the style of a day listening to a radio station. From the Mr. Versatile breakfast show all the way through to the grime hour with Rivz, the true essence of radio is represented through its variety and this is something The Skints have always excelled on. Across the spectrum of ‘FM’ the band try their hand at straight up reggae, pulsating dub, boogie inducing rocksteady and gritty underground grime. The influence from each corner surrounding a London upbringing are represented at every turn and channeled through the most vivid colours possible. >Opener ‘This Town’ is a toe tapping love letter, ‘My War’ is as loose and slippery as they come and ‘Friends & Business’ is chocked full of dancefloor filling joy. Each track completely different but all bound by the same ethics and vision.
Things carry on in similarly chilled but compelling style. The Skints ultimately write music that while being pleasurably easy listening still generates engaging and thorough story telling. Below the sweet riffs and sunshine stained keys, there are tales of theft, loss and the dark underbelly of the Capital. It is easy to forget that things aren’t always rainbows in the real world and the chosen rawness of the band and ‘FM’ is a testament to that.
Regardless ‘Forest For The Trees’ utilises whistles and waves of silky guitars and ‘Eyes In The Back Of My Head’ is the audio equivalent of walking the streets of the East End at 4 in the morning. Things are rounded off with the care free half full outlook of ‘Tomorrow’ which remind us that things are never as bad as they seem and that living in the now is more vital than anything; a sentiment that is often forgotten in modern life.
On the whole, ‘FM’ is The Skints at their most playful, creative and loose. Transmitting London life out to the masses in the only way they know, the songs that make up their latest effort possess enough charisma to charm you onto your feet but also enough fine tuned songwriting to keep you coming back for more once the party is over. Whether you are at your peak on a big Friday night or at your most vulnerable on a hungover Sunday, The Skints have the soundtrack you will be reaching for time after time.
‘FM’ by The Skints is released on 9th March on Easy Star Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)