The latest single from New Plymouth outfit Skank Bandit explores themes of doubt, self-belief, and self-control, promoting awareness of the risks of drink driving and challenging people to take responsibility for their actions and choices in life. It is an unusual song in many ways, as while the repeated guitar riff is hypnotic and light, the lyrics are dark, and when the guitar crunches, we are taken away from summer and into something else altogether. However, the strangest thing with this five-minute long single is that in many ways it finishes at two minutes and then we are taken on a long instrumental roll out where the band both stays incredible true to what has gone before while also lifting it and taking it in new directions.
I found myself immediately being reminded of everyone’s favourite anarchists, Levellers, not so much in the musical style but more in the manner they were expanding and moving around the theme, while Hawkwind are another name which comes to mind. There is a load of space in this arrangement which allows the instruments and vocals to bounce off each other and I am sure that when this is played live the second half will become quite raucous and crowd intensive. I really enjoyed their last album, Blood, Sweat and Beers, and once again I am saying they are innovative in what they do and produce really interesting music. It may have rock as its heart, but it gathers so many other genres along the way.