British reggae band New Town Kings are back with an uncompromising new track entitled ‘Borderline’, focussing on migration and upon politically-motivated hostility towards difference and towards those who seek to escape persecution.
The New Town Kings have featured on these pages before (see reggaemusic.org.uk 14th December 2014). The eight-strong ska/reggae band seek to merge old-school Jamaican rhythms with a novel take on UK-inspired ska and they have already built up a strong live reputation. In April and May 2018 the New Town Kings will be touring in England where you can have the chance to hear their forthcoming album ‘Reach Out’ live in a relatively small-scale venue setting.
New Town Kings: ‘Borderline’, single release 9th March 2018
The New Town Kings – who hail from New Town, Colchester – have just re-released their well-received four-track EP, ‘Pull Up & Rewind’. This is Essex reggae/ska influenced in part by the sound of the Two Tone era but also with the strong imprint of the reggae greats, the originators of all this.
The EP opens with ‘Change’, a committed political tour-de-force, with bass and brass driving things along convincingly. ‘Luna Rosa’ is a great fast-paced ska song, with hints of a Latin influence in the brass-led refrain. ‘Grabbed My Hand’ is closer to the mellow melodic tradition of the reggae masters and the soul singers of the same period. The set concludes with ‘Cool the Pressure Down’, pointing to the need for a steady calm in circumstances where others are losing their patience. Together, the four tracks serve to showcase the different but complementary styles of this nine-piece band. The themes and lyrics of the songs here – political and personal – as well as the music itself reference the reggae tradition respectfully but the result isn’t sombre or serious. It’s upbeat live-oriented reggae/ska for a new audience.
New Town Kings: Pull Up and Rewind; release 8th December 2014.