By Stand Out Riot
Stand Out Riot are destined for a very bright future. A seven piece group from Derbyshire who, after winning the National Festival of Music for Youth in 2006, have gone from strength to strength. If you are a fan of ska music, this latest album must go straight on your shopping list.
The album kicks off with a circus ringleader announcing the band as the eighth wonder of the world (certainly confidence isn't lacking!) which instantly kicks into the first song; 'Depth Charge.' A suspenseful drum roll is followed by a chorus of the different instruments launched into a speedy and jaunty tune that is very reminiscent of Gogol Bordello. A guaranteed crowd pleaser, the tune is loaded with jumping and contrasting vocals, with brilliant backing arrangements of sax, violin and guitar, the tempo flicking between slow and fast without warning. One of the best album intros I've ever heard.
'Playing With Hammers' follows on smoothly with a more steady tune and focusing more on the sax and violins, blasting out rhythms so razor-sharp even the most devoted wallflowers would be up tapping their feet. Next track 'The Monstrous Cabaret' is wonderfully weird, throwing in as many sounds and genres as possible in the incredibly catchy chorus.
'Ambush Paddington' follows in a Madness vein, classic ska absolutely perfect for dancing to. 'The British Nazi Parade' is an absolute stormer of a track: wickedly witty lyrics, a killer guitar and violin solo and screamo vocals all crammed into five minutes of crazy chaos. 'Spacesuit' taunts the listener with a fairly plodding intro, but then suddenly kicks into gear, but it is just a tad too bland for me. The weakest on the album, but I still wouldn't skip it when playing the CD.
'The Oxbridge Mafia' really shows off the group's skill at creating vocals that can be joined in by the crowds and instrumental breaks that would make sure every single muscle in the crowd is being used for dancing. The last thirty seconds of this tune should come with a health warning as it's so catchy, but also so incredibly fast it could cause injury.
'Counting Sheep' wraps up the album in the form of a sing along tune that would bring the house down at a live show. The little addition of a quote about a recent investigation is thought provoking and amusing. The vocalists are undoubtedly very talented, they can sing, scream and harmonise without ever mismatching the different styles. Stand Out Riot deserves every ounce of success that comes their way.