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Red Eyed Jedi- The Grind

Lancashire based Ska Punk band Red Eyed Jedi have self released their debut album. Available on bandcamp as well as Deezer, iTunes and Spotify, the album is hoping to propel the band into the alternative charts and beyond.

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The album opens with “I Owe” with its horned intro and easily recognisable ska beat. It’s a great start and your toes quickly start tapping along to the rhythm of the song. Daniel Leyland’s distinctive vocals bring a certain amount of gruff to the melodic brass and guitars. After that the song blends into “Pedo Tash”. Not only does the song have a great name, but its lyrics are poetic and humorous. “Rainy Day” follows with buckets of horns and crashing cymbals and gets you ready for a bit of a tempo change for “Bitter End” with more skanking required, but the speed is slower which is good because you’re foot will have started aching from all the toe-tapping!

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Midway through the album now and “Blow Another Fuse”, “Brass Hooks” and “String Break” are all great tracks but they are nothing compared to “The Grind”. A drum roll introduces you to crescendos of guitars before the tempo slows for more of Leyland’s deep vocals. The song is typical of many punk songs with echoes of anti-establishment bands such as Anti-Flag and NOFX. The best part of the song comes in the bridge with crisp trumpet and cornet solos drawing you into the song.

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After the hard hitting “The Grind” the band indulge themselves and the listener to a well-loved Ska-Punk cliche with a Pirate themed song. I’m not complaining. The song is well written with hints of the band’s northern British roots. With a song like this breaking up the album it reminds me of a Mad Caddies record- not a bad comparison at all. The album slowly winds down throughout “It Goes On” and ends with a chilled note with “Sunny Day”.

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It is a great debut from a band in the beginning of their musical journey. With obvious hints from more well know Ska bands such as Mad Caddies, Capdown and Mustard Plug, there are also audible hints from big names like Bad Manners and The Interrupters. The album has been on a lot this week in our house as i’ve reviewed it and it has only got better with time. I don’t think it’s a record someone will get bored with quickly. There isn’t much decent Ska in the UK at the moment, but this record provides something a fan of the genre can find a lot of enjoyment in.

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