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New Town Kings - Reach Out

New Town Kings - Reach Out

New Town Kings - Reach Out

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Excellent new reggae ska album from New Town Kings.


New Town Kings - Reach OutWell done to Colchester, England’s New Town Kings who have certainly reached out to the masses with their new Reach Out album. If you’ve got some surplus summer energy to work off, then this is the ideal 13 track album to set you moving and grooving. And if that doesn’t do the trick, go catch them live in action.

The album kicks off at a lively pace, with the title track Reach Out covering a host of topics at an upbeat tempo, namedropping David Rodigan and announcing that the New Town Kings are no ‘flash in the pan’. Hopefully they’re not and given that their first album release was in 2011 it doesn’t seem so. Borderline is one of the sweeter sounding tracks in this catchy compilation and does well to address one of the great crises of our time – borders built to keep the refugees out. It’s good to hear such sounds and sentiments set against Britain’s prevailing (and disturbing) Brexit agenda. Why You Always Take then persists with the pacey delivery, set to lots of brass, as it warns against the perils of bad ‘friends’. The ska, reggae and two-tone type delivery that spans the album comes to the fore again in British Summer, with nostalgic clips from a London-based youth featuring frequently. Thereafter Deep Water gives good scope to the brass boys, before Music opens, set to some sweet sounds, frequently peaking with classy ensembles come chorus time. Thereafter Francine - set in seductive sax - gets the heart racing both romantically and musically, before Burn Babylon nods to Rastafarian-influenced reggae, with the legendary Sylford Walker re-igniting his old tune on what is arguably the collection’s most mesmeric tune. ‘Big Up’ all round!

Next up comes Long Long Road which is set at a slower pace, probably in deference to the tune’s message – that you’ve got to stick with it to enable your dreams come to fruition, with an appealing guitar solo thrown in for good measure. Then Coconut Tree kicks in at a hot lick, drawing attention to the beauty of the simple things in life. The band’s considerable musical capacity is especially evident in the follow on instrumental track The Hawk, before the album’s uplifting positive vibes feature in the penultimate Fine Fine Fine track, before Lullaby brings the compilation to a close at an uncharacteristically easy pace, with some delicate (and delightful) percussion inputs.

The album comes neatly packaged in a gatefold format, with an 8-page booklet relaying all the requisite lyrics and supporting information. Alas, it’s almost indecipherable in parts, but a welcome addition nonetheless. Well done to this 8-person collective on a welcome addition to the genre.

New Town Kings

Reach Out was released on April 27th, 2018 and is available from NTK Music on LP, CD and digital download.

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