RX Bandits - Progress (Drive-Thru Records)
Ska is the worst idea ever. Countless perfectly good songs completely ruined by the unnecessary addition of horns. How many decent punk bands have sunk to the levels of cabaret entertainers by drenching their efforts with such inappropriate instrumentation?
RX Bandits do not make this mistake. The brass section is subdued and is only really used to embellish the lush sounds of songs such as 'Consequential apathy' and 'Anyone but you'. It just gives the record that slight, laid back Jamaican feel to offset neatly the rolling guitar work and impassioned vocals.
It gets a bit annoying on songs like 'Get' though. Sometimes the Bandits just can't hold the various elements of their sound together and it comes off sounding disjointed and irritating, like true ska.
All in all, this is a relatively ambitious effort for a punk band. The Bandits are clearly pushing themselves in different directions and should be applauded for it. If their talent occasionally plays catch up to their imaginations they can be forgiven for it.
If you want something reasonably good to bounce along to then I wont insult you too badly for playing this. Acceptable ska? I thought the day would never come.