The Filaments

Look to the Skies

Written by: MAK on 19/06/2018 15:45:43

The Filaments have been firm favourites of the UK ska punk scene for many years now, regularly playing the likes of Boomtown and turning up at more DIY showcases such as Manchester Punk Festival and Level Up Festival in recent years. 2018 sees the long-awaited follow up to 2013’s “Land of Lions” and “Look to the Skies” picks up exactly where the predecessor left off.

The Filaments are still pissed off at the world and aim their opening song at the Nazi types that exist in the world, “Fuck the “Alt”-Right” is a short fast blast of aggressive Oi punk with gritty shouted lyrics of pure venom towards the EDL and BNP on top of a funky bassline, distorted hooks and steady fast beats. Title track, “Look to the Skies”, continues the political trend, telling the stories of countries like the United States of America dropping bombs in the middle east. The song itself is a lot more melodic musically, with a catchy singalong chorus and some whoa chants. The riff progression and the vocal rhythm makes it sound like a Rancid song.

“Rip-Off World”, is a ska punk track without horns about working class people living in a world of capitalism. This song is a lot chirpier, full of those uplifting dub stroke rhythms, bouncy basslines and a beat to dance to. It’s the sort of song to get the crowd moving. Notice I said without horns. That feature becomes distinctively missing on the majority of this album, which is shocking when The Filaments have the likes of Pook and Eddie O’Toole in their arsenal. They first get a shot to shine in “Underdogs”, another happy go lucky song musically, full of dub keys and infectious brass hooks. It’s a softer number compared to most of this release, more of a reggae hit to get you swaying and singing along.

“Tread Carefully” then comes in with a bang, lots of energy and bouncy hooks. The chorus of “NO I DON’T NEED NONE OF YOUR AGGRAVATION”, just hits you and you can’t help but join in and sing along. “Ask No Favors” then stands out due to the guest vocals of Jay and Fran from the Inner Terrestrials. Jay’s voice is so distinctive it’s hard to miss. This is another slow dub punk number to get you swaying, yet as soon as the chorus kicks in, so does the adrenaline for such an uplifting an epic segment. It’s a chorus to belt out at the top of your lungs.

“All We’ve Ever Known” follows up with a nice happy ska-punk hit, the sort to have you bobbing around the room with a lot more panache. The brass hooks come back with a bouncy edge to them, it’s just a nice song. “The Verge” and “Killing Machine” close the album off in true Filaments style with more topics about social unrest, big sing-along choruses and a lot of fun energy.

When you listen to an older album like “What’s Next” it still comes surprisingly that there is a severe lack of horns in comparison, even more so when it’s material from “What’s Next” that gets played the most live. We have just come to expect it more. Another noticable trait is the lack of "hardcore" type track like "Hiroshima" or "Tables Turn". However, that takes nothing away from what a great album “Look to the Skies” is. This has political awareness, the musical influences of oi, dub and various avenues of US and UK punk. Then the invitations to sing along and dance within the music that will have live crowds very responsive. These are all things we love about this band and overall this is a very fun, enjoyable release. The Filaments have not lost their edge at all.


Download: Fuck The "Alt"-Right, Tread Carefully, Ask No Favors, Rip-Off World
For The Fans Of: Rancid, Inner Terrestrials, The Interrupters

Release date 16.06.2018
Pirate Press Records

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