Here come the Meow Meows with a new EP, ‘Friends on Benefits’. With their characteristic brass and guitar it’s a fast upbeat ska sound on these three short-ish songs, starting with the title track, followed through by ‘London Road’ and finally ‘Tits and Hatred’. The first of these is Two –Tone inspired punky ska, a strong tune and effective vocals. The second is in a similar rhythmic mould to begin with, slowing a little as it progresses, while the third track addresses the sure-fire success recipe of tabloid papers, more rock than reggae in its rhythm and getting more musically interesting as it goes along.
Like their previous album, this EP was produced by fellow Brighton luminary Prince Fatty and, as usual with his skills at the controls, the sound is crisp and clear. It’s not surprising that the band have performed live with Hollie Cook and with the Skints, those purveyors of fine crossover contemporary reggae. This is good dance-oriented modern ska, politically informed as well as fun, from a band that has built up a firm reputation during their ten years or so of live performance together.
According to the press release, this EP “emerged as part of a commission by Fuel Theatre for their ‘Music to Move to’ project – which saw ten musical acts team up with choreographers to create works which would inspire the general public to dance. The title track was the band’s emphatic response.”
The Meow Meows: Friends on Benefits: released by Jump Up! records on 7ʺ vinyl (limited edition) and digital download, July 2015.