- Release date: 25/01/2012 (On-Tour Release)
- Producer: Larry Hibbett
- Label: Banquet Records / Gravity DIP
8 / 10 – A teaser of their long-awaited ska-dominating potential.
It’s been nearly 5 years since the release of their popular debut This Machine and with only a snippet of a track released since then, this has definitely been one of the most highly anticipated underground albums in modern ska-punk.
The self-defined ‘brass packed ska punk turbo jazz’ band have certainly delivered. The Calm is the energetic, skank-worthy sounds of the first album, and then some!
The EP kicks off with re-recorded teaser track Start Listening (which was first released in 2009). It’s motivational lyrics and lively guitar and trumpet intro is authentic TJBC style.
Skeleton Key and Back To The Future both feature their popular politically charged lyrics but these tracks have a tighter, more intricate instrumental side showing off the advanced and refined talents they’ve been working on since the last album. What’s more, the powerful lyrics are illuminated by lead singer Lank’s fantastically controlled vocal range and the impressive backing harmonies.
Going Up In Smoke is one of their most unique sounds yet; the combination of the piano intro and a deeper, jazzier saxophone gives the listener a reminiscent feel of old-school ska with a modern twist. It’s different but it works.
This EP is everything it needed to be; excellent quality, advanced musical techniques, new edgy sounds and the same ska-punk energy but fans may be slightly disappointed that after 5 long years since This Machine, it’s not a full length album.
I would go as far as saying this EP is already one of the best of modern ska and it is a great reminder that The JB Conspiracy mean business. A fantastic taster to build excitement for the album due at the end of the year.