Big D And The Kids Table

Do Your Art

Written by: PP on 22/12/2021 17:32:07

Did I put on a Guttermouth record by accident? Or did the boys in Big D And The Kids Table suffer a collective aneurysm somewhere between their 2013 duo of albums "Stomp" and "Stroll" and their tenth album, "Do Your Art"? Their first studio album in eight years is a schizophrenic record that varies between straight-up ska-punk like "Toyed" or "New Day" and weirdo cuts like "Metal In The Microwave" or "Race Car Song" that sound like the aforementioned lunatic punkers, or alternatively, like the weirdest Descendents tracks.

Either way, it's quite a radical departure from what we're used to hearing on the last few Big D albums - at least in places. Of course, the majority of the record is still revolving around classical ska and reggae music. Plenty of horn instrumentation is sandwiched between the weirdo tracks, so you'll still receive your fix of trombone and saxophones, plus flute, melodica, and much more. These parts of the record balance between the easygoing, upbeat ska/reggae style of songs like "Strong & Fair" - which recall material by the likes of Suburban Legends - and the more aggressive, rougher lining of darker ska-punk tracks like "Sociopath" that effectively channels Streetlight Manifesto in its complex expression. You've got the Reel Big Fish style straight-up ska-punk that's guaranteed to turn the mosh pit into a skanking party, and the more laid-back reggae cuts that belong more in the 'stroll' part of Big D discography than the 'stomp' one.

But mixed in between are nonsensical, spazz-laden tracks that almost pass as hardcore punk. Here, the vocals shift tempo to ultra-fast to an extent where they sound almost like gibberish, and the twists and turns of the soundscape are about as far from ska-punk as a band like Big D can conceivably get to. If I'm being perfectly honest, these sound like interludes and medleys of the band's strangest ideas than actual songs (see segments of 1999's "Good Luck"), and serve as nothing else but filler when compared to the sublime ska represented by tracks like "Dispirit". At twenty tracks, the record is also unnecessarily long when it contains such a wide variety of material that ranges from excellent to completely pointless. More worryingly, "Do Your Art" is too inconsistent and lacks the infectiously catchy material that "Stomp" and particularly "Strictly Rude" had, leaving this scribe scratching his head and wondering how this record wasn't cut down to twelve songs or so instead of twenty.

Download: Toyed, Sociopath, New Day, Dispirit
For the fans of: Guttermouth, Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legends, Streetlight Manifesto
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.10.2021

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