Monday, 9 February 2009

002 - The Gadjits - 'At Ease' (1998)

Whilst most ‘high’ art of the twentieth century steamrolled its way towards abstract noise, and ‘low’ art became pastiche and boring, it’s easy to forget that for a few talented, imaginative, skilled individuals can still add something to a genre that everybody else missed.

A few of these fellows happened to be The Gadjits, and this is exactly what their second album did. Now a forgotten gem of the ‘Third Ska Punk Wave’, when they signed up to Tim Armstrong’s (Rancid) Hellcat in the late nineties The Gadjits were barely out of short trousers, but it’s a work of surprising maturity, clarity and richness: a forgotten gem of the genre.

At its best, the fifteen tracks are pitch perfect combination of ska and 60s beat music: Brandon Phillips’ vocals offer a relaxed cool tone over clean ska guitars, soulful 60s beats, funky bass and the always exhilarating tone of a Hammond organ. The sound is clean, punchy and exciting and reeks of youth yet defined by a defined, mature sound.

As it stands, the album that will be – unfortunately – long overlooked in the histories of music. It’s infectious and joyous from the start, retelling classic stories of death, love and drinking, covering ‘Mustang Sally’, and with a crucial classic number - ‘Beautiful Girl’ - to finish

Truth be told, this is probably the first in a long line of albums that inspired this heinous blog: any music enthusiast has a wealth of albums they feel are overlooked, ignored and forgotten. So, for me (and maybe a few others), this album is just one in many that represents the tragedy of a music industry.

1 comment:

  1. True say - that album is awesome - ‘Beautiful Girl' sits a single track is amazing...

    I'd say tho that the 'Mustang Sally’ cover was the lowest point on the album - akward but skippable.