What with Fallstaf's 'brass metal' infecting us this year and Rancid about to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a new album and tour next year, The Bosstones' latest release couldn't come at a better time. Beckoning out the year with their ninth studio album, the feelgood forefathers of ska punk remind us of the radical roots of the bounciest hybrid to hit the heart of happy Metal.
If you didn't know, the Bosstones originally formed in 1983 in Boston. With their disparate influences including AC/DC, Motorhead, The Clash, as well as two-tone and ska, they morphed it all into one glorious, brassy, bass-skanking, honking package and set it on the road to ska punk history.
Article continues below...
This, 'The Magic Of Youth', is a chip off the old block, comprising as it does three of the original core members, vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe 'The Bass Fiddleman' Gittleman and tenor saxophonist Tim 'Johnny Vegas' Burton. Nothing surprising here, just what you'd expect from the progenitors of such a lively crossbreed: a vigorous workout of spanking basslines, horns raised in celebration of life and rough-shod punk vocals reminding us that though the brass may be polished, there's definitely a lack of gloss beneath the veneer.
Opener 'The Daylights' gives you the idea from the word 'go!' with its low-slung, loose, thrumming bass making way for a blast of guitar, drums and horns, a common factor throughout most of the album, and quite rightly so.
But there's also the wonderful 'Disappearing' (my fave), which soothes us into submission before building with consummate ease into a superb, drum-rattling, horny Mexican middle-eight - that feelgood factor personified... As is the jumpin' 'Sunday Afternoons On Wisdom Avenue', 'The Horseshoe And The Rabbit's Foot' and the manic, anthemic 'They Will Need Music', which I can safely say will be a live, ranting favourite! (Nice touch, the rusty old piano at the end.)
If you don't like brass, you won't like this. If you love Rancid, you should educate yourself with some skanking happy brass Metal. Get your mohic on alert, DMs polished and prepare to pogo!