Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 15/4
Reap The Storm
Written by: MAK on 15/03/2017 18:56:50
The further you dive into the United Kingdom’s DIY punk scene, the more gems you seem to uncover along the way. Bolshy is one of these — the ska-punk band from Liverpool has taken the UK underground scene by storm over the last five years, as they have shared stages with the likes of Inner Terrestrials and The Restarts. In 2014, Bolshy launched a crowd funding campaign to release their debut EP, “Radical. Anarchic. Bolshy. Scouse.”, which surpassed its £1500 target in just 17 days. Spring 2017 now seems to be the opportune time to discover this band if you haven’t already, as they are about to release their début album, “Reap the Storm”, just a month before playing the Manchester Punk Festival.
“Reap the Storm” combines elements of skacore popular with most British ska-punk bands, with elements of fun loving third wave ska and even chilled out dub. The opening track, “Anthropocene”, starts off with a chill atmosphere with steady reggae beats and that typical ska guitar stroke. The brass is soft and melodic and it suits the tone as vocalist Molly’s soothing voice kicks in, with a lingering, fiddly guitar hook poking through in the background. Only a couple of minutes later, we have an energetic and punchy ska-punk song on our hands. The brass is bouncy, the tempo is increased and the guitars shift from rhythms that make you want to dance to crunchy riffs that make you want to rock out. The soft-to-heavy dynamic suit the aggression in the lyrics, which focus their anger on the state of the pollution in the world.
“Hierarchicide” follows up as a high tempo ska-punk hit that is designed to have a crowd skanking, yet it still has an anthemic value in the chorus for a massive sing-along. It is, however, “The Fifth Horseman” which grabs my attention most with its incredible resemblance to Streetlight Manifesto. The musical intricacy and the mannerisms in the drum technique and brass melodies, and the overall quirkiness of the track just screams Streetlight’ in the best way. It’s another track that focuses on mixing fun vibes with aggression. My favourite track, “Party On” is another one that reminds me strongly of another band — this time it’s Leftöver Crack. The opening chord progression is almost identical to the bridge in Morning Glory/Leftöver Crack hit “Gang Control”, but it’s the ska with breakdowns, catchy choruses and all out fun nature that makes it a perfect Crack-rock track in its own right. To me, this is Leftöver Crack with brass hooks and it’s a brilliant piece.
Bolshy have massively entertained me with “Reap the Storm”; the mixture of elements keeps this album sounding so fresh and exciting, and each song provides with you with something a little different. Quite a few tracks follow the punchy style of the opening song but the title track, “Reap The Storm”, is a further example of another Streetlight’-influenced track. It’s fast and energetic with a nice split between fun and aggressive tones, but it also has a bouncy folk-tone, like it has a hint of Gogol Bordello. We do have a nice dub influenced interlude piece to split the album up a little too, keeping the record mixed throughout. Production-wise, it’s not entirely crisp nor perfect, but it works with the raw sound and attitude that Bolshy deliver.
Download: Party On, The Fifth Horseman, Reap the Storm, Anthropocene
For the fans of: Streetlight Manifesto, Leftover Crack, Random Hand
Release date 18.03.2017