The Rumble Strips - Girls And Weather

“I aint got no soul”

Announces the slightly lurid and hearty voiced front engine, Charles Waller for the ska skirting upstarts The Rumble Strips. However, this slightly anti-social, blues-beat of a debut album opener shows that whatever they lack for in soul, they more than make up for in rhythm. This is something that has been amplified over the past twelve months, through their feisty live sets, the highlight of which being their lofty headline slot on the NME/Topman New Bands Tour. By far their most catchiest and proud ska leaning anthem is previous single, ‘Alarm Clock’ that eeks out beleaguering, adolescent bemusement. This is a theme that trickles through the album like blood and gives it some added colour.

The good time indie tag that commentators have been placing on this full bodied, horn featuring gang from Tavistock, is a little misleading. However, it’s easy to get carried away by the free-spirited instrumentals and miss the cynical lyrical waves, such as those produced in the strolling pop number ‘Girls And Boys’. Rumbling drum-beats often warn of the torrent of blazing instrumentals and powerfully scattered vocals that often follow in the livelier stomps, like the fantasizing ‘Motorcycle’ and the funked out parade of ‘Time’.

Feral, poetic longing and reflection slows things down for ‘Clouds’, making you want to put your arm around the persons next to you and sway like a boat on the rough seas. It is a number that is needed in an album like this and it allows you to take stock of the variety of da Strips. Seasoned set opener ‘Hate Me (You Do)’, provides floods of energy and defiance and represents that old teen angst formula to a tee. They now have the base of a rock solid debut all they need in order to fully cap their rise, is a Friday night interview from Jonathon Ross.

David Adair

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