By Speed Circus
I resisted this and it still won. Speed Circus can really do it: types of music that never grabbed me before have got me this time. The well loaded 25min EP 'Rosie' uses its six tracks to show off mastery of material that has a convincing feel of some 60's-70's light pop, quite a lot of ska/two tone and a peep into the 80's with a flavour of early UB40. Not tribute style, let it be said, because what this band get hold of they add substance to.
The title-track and single 'Rosie' is a gem, taking the form of authentic-sounding bubblegum pop, but with something richer running through its veins than the original stuff ever had, thanks to Tom Rowlett's slightly broken-up singing, and the clever guitar contributions. Nice playing also takes us into 'Soldier On,' the first of four ska /two tone /reggae-son-of-ska creations. Then, from behind a mischievous Spanish guitar and harmonica, 'Jose Cuervo' jumps on you - a deadly, tequila-drenched fun-in-the-sun anthem that is at the same time an episode of London life in the manner of Squeeze. If this one makes it as a booze commercial, entire populations will be drinking to forget the penetrating refrain. Good little solo on electric guitar though.
'Power Struggle' puts you in the realm of uptempo ska/Specials with plenty of added power from tweets, buzzes, strums and licks in the guitar-work of Russ Ashford and Ben Deboo. After that you're quite ready to chill with 'Dubwise,' and open your emotions to 'I Know You Can Hear Me.'