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A New Beginning

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As the Commitments were to American soul music, so the Gangsters want to be to second-wave British ska. With a name taken straight from the Specials' song catalog, this Irish nine-piece band brings back the glory days of early-'80s Birmingham, when the Specials, Madness, and the Selecter ruled the scene. Singer Patrick Colton sounds more than a little like Terry Hall and saxophonist Ronan O'Donnell sounds more than a little like the English Beat's Saxa, but originality has never been as important in ska as mastery of idiom and the ability to turn fairly new melodic tricks using old formulas. Do the Gangsters succeed at that level on their debut album? The results are mixed. "Al Capone" is tired and hackneyed both in terms of subject matter and in its two-note melody, but "Rude Boyz" does a nice job of updating a classic theme, and the two instrumentals ("Gangster Ska" and "Jamaican Shuffle") manage to be both musically interesting and faithful to tradition. Overall, a worthy effort. [N.B., "Jamaican Shuffle," the album's last tune, includes a dub version as a hidden track several minutes after song's end.]


Se formó en: 1991 en Dublin, Ireland

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s

The Dublin-based ska trio of the Gangsters formed in 1991 as a way to kill the boredom of being on the dole. Influenced by the two tone era of ska — the Specials, Bad Manners, Madness, and the English Beat — the Gangsters ended up being Dublin's only ska band for several years. After a brief breakup, Beatville Records convinced the band to reunite in 1997 to record...
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