Label: Bomber Music
TL;DR: Well Good 8/10
With strong releases from The Skints and Random Hand in recent times, record label Bomber Music looks set to make the genre of reggae/ska much brighter with the release of M.O.J.O, the second album from UK band New Town Kings. Featuring optimism and infectious grooves of horns and drums alike, M.O.J.O is simply a very happy record. The strong musicianship of the band and their incredible songwriting skills allow for one of the most accessible listens of 2011 and easily one of the best.
We begin with Games That People Play, a track which perfectly opens a record with a decent pace and a fun mindset. With horns scattered all over the layers of guitar and drums, they really drive it into danceable territory and prevent it from becoming monotonous. Containing a lot of the elements which allowed Reel Big Fish to have a few hits, this track is destined to be played at any summer event, as it’s impossible to dislike.
Infact, every track on M.O.J.O is unashamedly danceable. The brilliant production throughout it allows each song to be as enjoyable as the next, the instrumentation does not have moments of sloppiness or have one instrument stand out too far from the rest, it sounds equal and as if the band were performing it live right infront of you, brilliant. This well-mixed sound prevents any dull or disliked moments because the way a new instrument is introduced sounds extremely natural and flows immediately with the foundation.
This is definitely a feel-good record. Complete with fantastic horn pieces which enhance tracks such as News Stand and Dynamite into much greater listens, it is the perfect soundtrack for the summer, and to think these guys are from the UK as well. As well as being a great listen, it is also a testament to the musicianship within New Town Kings, they have fantastic chemistry together and it’s obvious that they are a bunch of talented individuals.
If you want to throw a party, or merely sit at home looking at the sun, then get this record. It’s got the distinctive qualities of traditional Jamaican reggae while sounding completely original too, the album often changes in its tempo and the result is very solid and varied. Even the slower parts are danceable enough to lose your clothes, and like it.