New Town Kings ‘Pull Up’/’Rewind’ (New Town Kings) EP 4/5

new-town-kingsOverlooked on its chilly December release, with spring now fully upon us and summer just a month or two away, now is the ideal time to appraise this Colchester-based band whose influences straddle the Specials and Gregory Isaacs among others. They excel on lovers rock-tinged numbers such as ‘Grabbed my hand’ with horns that sound as though the band have been listening to some gritty Stax soul recordings along the way and the song has a quality to it that mirrors the In-Crowd from back in the late 1970s. In direct contrast, manic breakneck speed ska greets the listener on ‘Luna Rosa’ which has an infectious bassline and DJ toasting. This could well be a potential single. Reggae roots are not forgotten and showcased on the opening song ‘Change’ with some melodic horn accompaniment from saxophonist Rory Sadler who demonstrates elsewhere he can blow a mean solo. The EP ends with a heavy roots tune, ‘Cool the pressure down’, and this is precisely what the band achieve. An impressive debut and one anticipates a possible future album with great relish.

Tim Stenhouse