Review by Steve Boniface
Hailing from Machester, Baked A La Ska look to bring a touch of the Caribbean to the slightly more dour British Isles with their second full length. Theirs is a sound that desires an aquired taste – ska music with a spaced out feel.
It’s an effective approach that ties the album together well over its eleven tracks – a distinct personality that comes across in their tunes and it’s not hard to see why they have been asked to take up residency for the Shake ‘n’ Bake clubnights at Manchester’s Band on the Wall.
The problem that plagues Ska music as a whole is that it’s a genre that thrives on being played live. It’s a style that relies on the energy of both the band and the crowd to come together and make a great gig experience. Capturing that spirit in the studio is a real challenge and if there’s one downside to this album it’s that the production is a bit flat in places. It’s not the fault of the band or producers as such, more a side effect of the genre they have chosen to work in.
Don’t let that put you off though. If you’re a ska fan there’s plenty to enjoy here. Covers of ‘Abracadabra’ (Steve Miller) and ‘Toxic’ (Britney Spears) are good fun, not to mention a leftfield cover of ‘Trust In Me’ from Disney’s Jungle Book movie. These tracks are surrounded by a decent set of original tracks, including highlights ‘Romeo’ and ‘Alien’.
A ska album that truly captures the atmosphere of a gig is a real rarity, and it must be said this LP isn’t one of them. Still, crank it up loud and nod your head along – there’s a strong release to be found here.
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