For Fans Of
So I get this CD the other day, and it’s Westbound Train, and I haven’t heard much about them but I know they’re old style ska and I’m like “Pfff what?”. And my girlfriend listens to it and goes “These guys are fucking shit” and I’m like “Of course they are” and without actually listening to the thing I write a review in my head that is totally hilarious about how bad new ska is and it has Propagandhi quotes and everything, and I’m all “Fuck, this thing’s in the bag”. Then just for laughs, and out of a sense of fairness, I have a quick listen just to set everything in concrete. And fuck me, it’s actually pretty awesome and now I feel like a complete prick.
If you’re a Less Than Jake/Reel Big Fish type ska kid this won’t be for you, not at all. In fact if you’re one of those dudes can you please take a bunch of sleeping pills and a bottle of whiskey and go for a lie down? You’re giving everyone the shits, thanks mate.
This is your real roots type shit, super chilled out and full of groove, maybe I’m old but it just really worked for me. It opens up slowly with I Don’t Belong Here which sets things up for the rest of the album, I usually like things to kick off with a real snap but given the general tone here a punchy start would make it feel all wrong. This can get a bit much given that it’s drawn out for almost an hour, but if the mood’s right it actually works really well instead of being boring like it sounds.
These Boston locals have moved away from the American sound and taken real influence from the British pioneers of the genre like The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners, while at the same time making the sound their own- which is no small achievement when we’re dealing with such a tried and true formula. Vocalist Obi Fernandez sings with real soul and has a great range, but at times sounds heaps like the guy from Maroon 5 which really pissed me off. The atmosphere also stays the same for the duration of the album which lost my attention a couple of times and can make the songs blend together, which isn’t ideal.
When you look at some of the other trash calling itself ska though, you can really appreciate what Westbound Train are doing, it was certainly enough to shut me up. The missus still thinks I’m an idiot for liking it though, so I guess it’s not for everyone.
Way, way better than you’d think. Or at least way better than I thought. Sharp effort rude bois.
1. I Don’t Belong Here
2. Ain’t Gonna Be Easy
3. Check Your Time
4. Why You Cry
5. Come And Get It
6. Some Things Are Meant To Be Remembered
8. If Only
9. What You Need
10. The Passage
11. Lift My Voice Up Loud
12. For The Record
13. So many Things A Man Can Say
14. Cheers! The World’s Almost Over