One of the main styles of music I was into when I was first seriously getting into listening to stuff was ska-punk – mostly the American stuff from the likes of Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and their ilk – and, while it has not always been on hard rotation on my stereo/CD player/iPod, there has always been something about that odd mixture of sunny punk-pop and bouncy ska that has kept me interested.
So, when one of its top UK exponents, [Spunge], have visited Guernsey over the last few years it has always been a treat and when I saw they were putting out a newly recorded best of album through Pledgemusic this year I just had to get involved.
What the album delivers is exactly what one would expect from [Spunge] with sing-and-bounce-a-long choruses packed tight into great songs that are guaranteed to make you feel good.
While reflecting the band’s live shows is never going to be possible on record, as its hard to include random drinking competitions and stage invasions on disc, what the album does do is go someway to brining the energy from those shows into your ears.
From the starting point of Lyrical Content their really is no let up and I was bouncing my head as I listened to the record and it was all I could do to not start skanking along (particularly to Skanking Song) as I walked.
The collection of songs is really the albums strongest point as, even though I’ve seen them live several times, I don’t own much of [Spunge]’s music, so I was surprised to find that every track here is one I recognised almost straight away, always a good sign for a greatest hits record, and the re-recording of the tracks with the band’s current line up, with a bit of added organ and horn here and there, has served all the songs excellently as many feel even more alive here than they did on the band’s previous best of collection The Story So Far.
Highlights come in the form of the aforementioned Lyrical Content and Skanking Song, as well as Jump On Demand, Kicking Pigeons and great cover of The J. Geils Band’s Centrefold, although as I’ve said there isn’t really a down moment.
So, whether you’re new to ska-punk, or, like me, reliving old memories (while building new ones) Greatest Hit….s by [Spunge] is a surefire winner of a record that captures just what you’d want it to, though this is a band I would always recommend catching live if you have the chance.