I was kindly sent this 4-track introduction to Copasetics by the band, and I’m glad they thought of me. For a group that’s only been around for a year or so, it’s a great first release that holds promise of more good things to come.
Taking their influence from real old-school swing-flavoured ska right through to the fuzzed-out 3rd-wave style first brought to the world’s attention in the ’90s by the likes of Moon Ska Records, they certainly know how to get a groovy beat going. With the brass standing proud and the beats choppin’ in all the right places, it’s pretty infectious. Even the slower, more reggae-flavoured tunes have a certain oomph that demand you stand up and get your feet jiggy.
Lyrically they’re not afraid to include some pretty strong political opinions either, which is always to be applauded. There are too many bands who think a good song stops at the instruments and merely use the vocals as another layer of noise. Copasetics don’t fall into this trap and offer up sharp lines dealing with everything from isolation to inebriation via class struggle and social control. The one lyric that really caught my eye comes from ‘Firing Squad – ” I was busting a gut not to better myself but for reasons I fucking hate…to make a rich man richer”. That’s the plight of the working man and woman summed up in a nutshell. It’s a simple message and it’s good to see the next generation unafraid to tell the world just how things really are, especially when there are still so many who are blind to it.
If I’ve got one criticism, it’s the vocal delivery itself. While it’s generally strong and fits in well with the sound and the message, it has that faux Yankee twang that grates on my ears. For a band from Yorkshire, this should really be an opportunity to celebrate the county’s linguistic twang, not hide it under a blanket of Americanised stresses. Yeah, I know, it’s my bugbear and not everyone gets so het up by these things but, for me, music needs the individuality of an accent to really bring it alive. You can catch traces of the regional patois now and again, it just needs bringing much more to the fore. It says a lot for the quality of this lot though that, after a few listens, I can (almost) forgive them.
A new EP is in the works and, if this debut is anything to go by, should be well worth the wait. Until then, do your ears and brain a favour and grab this little taster for a bargain £2.50 including post and a free badge!
For people who also like: The Skints, The Specials, Capdown