The UK has always been known for being ahead of the game in a variety of ways – and its music scene is of no exception. England, in particular, has several native reggae/ska bands gaining popularity for their aspirations. New Town Kings, a nine-member reggae band out of New Town, Colchester in Essex County, was one British band who took 2014 by storm by releasing their inaugural EP titled Pull Up and Rewind.
With a poppy beat and a horn breakdown, the premier track legitimately makes the listener move.
The dub-heavy four-track EP boasts heartening themes, with each song having unique melodies, a booming brass section and a funky walking bass. The first song on the album is called “Change” which urges just that: the listener has “got to change the world today”, “move forward in the right direction” and do so by uniting with others to “defy convention”. With a poppy beat and a horn breakdown, the premier track legitimately makes the listener move. “Change” is followed by a faster tempo in “Luna Rosa” – a Spanish-reggae fusion song with a more carefree style. This song is hard not to dance to, with lyrics rapped until a sung chorus and the upbeat rhythm falling somewhere in between Latin cumbian and ska. Right when New Town Kings has you dancing, a twist in the timbre happens at track three, when the sizzling beat simmers down for a love song. “Grabbed My Hand” was the original single released off the album back in the beginning of autumn, grabbing the attention of many due to its whimsical and melodious nature. The track is less about finding someone to pass the time with and more a husband’s ode to his new wife. Stating that “my life started when you grabbed my hand” and finding a soul mate is like finding “the backdrop to dreams”, “Grabbed My Hand” is a prime example of the eternal love ballad. The EP wraps up with a mellow song called “Cool the Pressure Down” which is a the quintessential song to sing in your head if you’re about to be involved in a 2am bar fight when heading home sounds so much better – “aggression is not a remedy.” The track’s rhythm guitar and walking bass leads to an alto sax solo in the bridge, with lyrics all the while proclaiming that stress is universal and hotheads need to just chill. Ending with a doo-wop “cool it down” refrain – reminiscent of the finale song in the movie “Grease” – the action of “cooling down” is juxtaposed with the notion “we go together like one, wa-wa-wa-one.”
The new EP is accompanied with a video for “Change” on New Town Kings’ website, not to mention multiple upcoming European tours. It is not transparent at this time if the Essex lads are heading overseas to rock the United States any time soon, but until then, Americans have the privilege of purchasing “Pull Up and Rewind” on all major digital outlets.
Preview and download Pull Up and Rewind on
Pull Up and Rewind track listing
- Luna Rosa
- Grabbed My Hand
- Cool the Pressure Down
New Town Kings “Change” music video
For more info about New Town Kings, give them a follow on Facebook.
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.