China Shop Bull

Public Disorder: Act 2

Written by: MAK on 04/12/2020 01:19:44

Yorkshire rave punks China Shop Bull have proved themselves as one of the more diverse alternative acts in recent years, blending elements of ska, punk, hip-hop and drum & bass into one cocktail. Appealing to those that like to rock out, skank or jam to some filthy bass. They do so with excellent musicianship and incredible live energy, something that has earned them spots on lineups with the likes of The Dub Pistols, Sonic Boom Six, The Skints, Random Hand and Voodoo Glowskulls as well as making to popular festivals such as Boomtown and Rebellion.

In 2020 we see the follow up to 2015’s “Public Disorder: Act 1” with “Public Disorder: Act 2”. In which the party immediately starts with the title-track, throwing thick synth basslines and punchy brass melodies to prick your ears. It’s not long before Obi Joe and John Yates’ distinctively aggressive rapping vocals come in a with their solid Yorkshire accents. Each word is delivered with venom and their anger as matched by frantic bassy synth hooks. For the most part, this is an all-out raver, yet snippets of shreddy guitar riffs break through and the power of the lyrical aggression and the heaviness of the brass section hits so hard you want to rock out. This is a tone set for the majority of the release, most of these songs don’t really feel like rock and punk songs in the purest sense of traditional instruments standing out. But the delivery is just right.

“Step in to the Dojo” is a stand out track for those that like that heavier sound and more ska-punk influence, once again letting the brass section play out some captivating hooks, laid on top of some impressing lyrical stylings. It’s more like a horn-filled hip-hop track, for the most part, however, the brass melody and the tempo drive through an outro that packs a bigger punch than most skacore bands with awesome guitar grooves to back them up. “2 to 1” then comes in with chilled out reggae vibes, slow and steady rhythms and beats. Even the vocals drop in tempo, but him home where it’s needed. It’s a nice break of pace, a breather before the raver vibes hit with “Mental Health”. The synths and horn section hit hard again placed on top of bouncy as hell beats. It’s a headbanger of a track, which still feels weird to say when the thick EDM still basslines overshadow the guitar work to make you want to rock out. The outro is very similar to “Step in to the Dojo” in which the horn melodies hold their own against the best in ska-punk.

The lead single on the album “N.H.S” comes in with a steady drumbeat to get your head nodding before and another hard-hitting political hip-hop anthem about the standing up for the UK National Health Service and slagging off the corrupt system that keeps making cuts. “Opium of the Bastards” is an instrumental drum and bass influenced track that sounds like it’s performed and not just samples. The beats are nicely intricate. And the soulful horns matched with chilled synths make it a nice little interlude. That breaks brilliantly in to “No News Is Good News”, lead-in by some proper pulsing brass. The intensity drops, but the technical musicianship really shines by in this track with each instrument played with some great prowess throughout. The angst picks up towards the end as the basslines get heavy along with the riffs and horns.

Compared to “Act 1”, the influence of “Act 2“ leans heavily more towards hip-hop and EMD vibes than it does for the ska and the punk. The album lacks pure rockers like “Crunch Time” and “Czeck Neck”. Album closer “Enlighten” is by far the closest where the riffs get to shine in a fast-paced pit-started type track. However, I’ll reiterate that the delivery and the sound of the synths and bass makes it heavy enough to appear to those that like to rock out. The quick and witty lyricism is sublime and hard to fault. And the brass section as a whole is some of the best I’ve heard. Undoubtedly this is one of my favourite releases of the year, and one that feels criminally unnoticed by many in the ska and punk scenes.


Download: Step in to the Dojo, Mental Health, Public Disorder, N.H.S
For The Fans Of: T//Alan, Counting Coins, Random Hand
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.07.2020
Self Released

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