The Skints – Part & Parcel
Hard work does pay off; The Skints from East London are still young and are already easily one of the hardest working bands in the country, having spent the last two years relentlessly touring on the back of their incredible and much loved debut ‘Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.’, the band managed to gather a large dedicated fan base making them kings of the underground scene, a fan base so dedicated that they managed to get the funding of this album completely from fan ‘pledges’ in just 11 days. A great system has meant this band have made the album exactly how they wanted, with who they wanted. I dread to think how different this album could be if they had a label pulling their strings for them.
Part & Parcel is full of different styles and moods with a clear early reggae influence that gives much of the album a vintage feel, but The Skints also mix these influences with more modern song structures and styles to fit into today’s popular music scene. Although the classic reggae influence is perhaps most omnipresent, much like the first album the influences of this album come from all over the place – but the band manage to fix these influences together perfectly to create their own signature sound. Producer, the legendary Prince Fatty has done a brilliant job at mixing this album; the production is beautiful from the vocals, the wide use of instrumentation to the incredible sound of Jonathan Doyle’s massive bass lines.
The album is well balanced between members with most songs led by a particular member singing. Marcia appears much more vocally on this album than she did on ‘Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.’, singing or sharing the lead vocals on five of the albums tracks, while also doing the most instrumentally being credited for a mega eight different instruments (appearing to play just about anything from a flute to a Game Boy across the album), vocally she is also shows a variety of styles from the borderline rapping on ‘Ratatat’ to the clean and well tuned singing of ‘Ring Ring’. Jamie perhaps takes more of a backseat vocal wise than he did on the last album but however gives some amazing vocal performances on some of the slower paced tracks, ‘Can’t Take No More’, ‘You Better’ and ‘Sunny Sunny’, hitting some pretty amazing notes on the latter track. Josh shows good song writing on this album from the dark social tones of ‘Live East Die Young’ to the fast paced old style ska of ‘Lay You Down’ (which I guarantee will get you dancing).
Although missing the punk side that was much loved on ‘Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.’, The Skints have successfully developed and crafted their own mix of styles into being one of the strongest sounding British bands of today. The band mix up enough flavours of the modern mainstream and underground scenes with older influences to create a sound that can bring fans from all of these backgrounds, staying with an undeniably British sound while at the same time having a large amount of Jamaican influence. The Skints along with Prince Fatty have most likely made the album of the year, being perfect for a sunny summer’s day while also being perfect for the grimiest nights and can be loved by new and old fans alike. Don’t be surprised to see this band completely dominating the UK music scene this year, and no one deserves it more than the incredibly talented and hard working, The Skints.
The Skints – Ratatat