This debut album from Nottingham based The Breadchasers is only the second to be released on Offcut records which is owned and run by Jimmy The Squirrel front-man and artist in his own right Liam O’Kane. As you would expect from hearing JTS or Liam’s work the record has a strong reggae and ska influences.
From the off it’s apparent that this record is going to be good, the intro has a laid back tropical feel to it and moves into the first full track seamlessly. Vocally it’s always nice to hear a local accent coming through rather than a singer trying to sound like they’re from somewhere else. The vocals are multi layered and at times the passion comes through in a rough sound which would be at home on any punk record.
As the album progresses the style is consistent without becoming boring, there is a definite combination of old and new styles of ska music. Vocally there is a vintage edge to the style which bears comparison with Terry Hall, Squeeze or Suggs without sounding like an imitation. Musically there is an incredible mixture of first, second and third wave ska with a very British feel mixed together with the obvious reggae elements. There are definitely small influences form the skacore of the early noughties with Capdown and Shooting Goon as obvious examples these are combined with a stylish mix of Skatalites and Slackers. The main comparison I personally found immediately on listening to the album was with many of the acts on Asian Man Records in the USA.
There are definite elements of Let’s Go Bowling, The Chinkees and Skanking Pickle in amongst the vast influences on the Breadchasers’ strylee. For me the three above bands are responsible for taking ska into another level where it wasn’t all about brass lines and upstroke and it’s nice to hear this come through in music with brass and upstroke to continue the progression.
There is a lot of depth to the record and it is musically incredibly complex, the brass-lines help to back up the points made both musically and vocally. At times the brass is used to create further rhythms allowing the musical depth to really shine through. At times the combination of brass, deep bass and organs create a tropical dub feel to tracks which adds balance to the whole album.
This is a record, which will be sure to warm your bones on cold winter nights. Considering it’s the first record from The Bread Chasers it’s pretty obvious there will be big things to come from this band in the not so distant future.