Review by Shannon Shumaker
The Skints' new album, FM is killer. The album, which is inspired by radio culture and is based around a fictional radio station, begins with radio fuzz and an upbeat introduction to The Big FM / Frequency Murderation and 103.Skints. FM then flows smoothly into the first song, “This Town,” and the feelgood mood of the song is absolutely infectious. The fast, nearly rapped vocals flow perfect with the laid back, mellow tunes, and the way that the vocal parts switch effortlessly from one person to another is perfect for the track, which is about multicultural London. The song itself feels like a melting pot and leaves you feeling warm and cheerful before leading into the rest of the album.
The coolest thing about FM is definitely the way that The Skints effortlessly jump from one sound to another. Normally, going from one distinct sound to another would make an album sound choppy, but that isn’t the case with FM. The Skints pull inspiration from many different genres - from soul, reggae, dub, garage and even ska and punk at times - and it totally works.
Each song on the album is strong in its own way. “In The Night” has just that vibe - it’s more laid back and mellow, perfect for late night drives or cruising. But just before you think you have the song figured out, some awesome distorted guitar work comes in toward the end, making it feel a lot darker and fuller. Vocally, “Come To You” is absolutely gorgeous. Marcia Richards’ voice is soothing and her vocal runs are not only remarkable, but they’re easy to get lost in. The song itself is relaxing, but definitely not boring, as the vocal work more than keeps you occupied. The following track, a cover of Black Flag’s “My War” is incredible. The difference between the original the The Skints’ version is so vast, but it totally works.
In between songs are the “FM” tracks, which serve as small interludes and remind you that you’re listening to a radio station. The tracks themselves definitely don’t feel like interruptions or seem overdone, though, and flow easily with the rest of the album. Songs like “Friends & Business” and “Eyes in the Back of My Head” flow perfectly in and out of the radio fuzz, making the transition virtually seamless. The overall theme of the album is perfectly executed.
Other strong tracks on the album include “Where Did You Go” and “Friends & Business” which both host some really gorgeous vocal harmonies, despite their varying sounds. “Got No Say” is a total feelgood track, and it’s impossible not to smile while listening to it and the carefree final track, “Tomorrow.” While the sound on the entire album varies, the overall sound that The Skints have captured is able to transcend genre. And besides, the different genres and varying tracks are what keep FM interesting to listen to. The vast difference between songs like the opening “This Town” and the more punk/ska sounding track, “Friends & Business” is huge, but neither song sounds out of place. The differing genres and sounds suit the radio theme of FM perfectly, making it an incredibly easy and fun listen.
Listen to "Friends & Business" or "Where Did You Go"