Just Say Nay

Shit Out Of Luck

Written by: MAK on 15/09/2017 19:09:23

It’s not often you see a band with nine members, but British ska-punks Just Say Nay break the norm by flaunting their many talents and becoming my favourite discovery of 2017. Having started in 2015 and have gone through many incarnations, usually adding people along the way, Just Say Nay look to have finally found the right formula in 2017 — enough to record their EP, “Shit Out of Luck”. Since the release, the monster-sized band has performed with the likes of Faintest Idea and Lead Shot Hazard, as well as graced the stages of Level Up Fest and Boomtown Fair this year. What you can expect from the band is infectiously catchy anthems, poppy melodies and fun sing-alongs, all with the added grittiness of ska-core done the United Kingdom way.

We kick off with “Thinkers”, which opens with up-tempo skate-punk beats and crunchy riffs that lead into some subtle brass melodies peeking through and becoming more prominent as the song progresses. The vocals are raspy and suit the rather raw nature of the recording. “Tempted” then ups the ska vibes a lot more, its brass hooks becoming more of a focal point in the intro (they are really punchy); and then we have the introduction of the typical upstroke rhythms of ska. The opener was more of a punk song, yet “Tempted” is a bit quirkier in places, with slightly more erratic vocal styles. The standout moment is when there is a massive gang shout out of “I REALLY AIN’T SCARED OF YOUR TINY BUTTER KNIFE / IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR BOLLOCKS THAT WILL TAKE MY LIFE”. After just a couple of listens you’ll be singing along in no time; even if it’s a line that makes little sense.

This is one of those EPs that gets better with each track. “Bouncer” comes in with a chirpy bass-line, swiftly followed by many voices shouting “na-na-na-na-na”, and much like on the aforementioned “Tempted”, the ska nature of the track is even more dominant, with the rhythms coming across a lot more energetic — they make you want to dance around — and the horn section seeming a lot more intricate in terms of its melodies, too. The chorus is extremely catchy, an absolute anthem, which is then blown out of the water by the final song, “Low Blow”, with its “da-da-da” sing-along segment. Both tracks have become two of my favourite in ska for this year; they are pure fun and high in energy.

“Shit Out of Luck” is definitely one of my favourite finds of the year. The songwriting is just joyful, but what lowers my rating is perhaps the quality of the EP in terms of production. While I love the raw nature of it, there is a real basement show vibe to this thing and you can tell that this is a band in the early stages of their career, and not quite matching the polished sound of many of their peers just yet. At the same time, however, it sounds just as great as the early works of Skaciety and Lead Shot Hazard. Plus, if you compare it to the releases from Six.Point.Five and Battleska Galactica from the mid-2000s, both of those albums were still great and their production wasn’t anywhere near as good as this.

Download: Bouncer, Low Blow
For the fans of: Skaciety, Lead Shot Hazard, Call Me Malcolm
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.02.2017
Self released

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