[7 September 2008]
The ska revival of the ‘90s seemed long gone, but the music is once again sneaking its way into the mainstream. Hailing from Tavistock, Devon, a town of barely 11,000, the Rumble Strips bring the brass, lighthearted lyrics, and—gasp—even skank-inducing beats that we missed so much. Raise the checkered flag once again.
Already out in the UK for nearly a year, Gigantic brought Girls and Weather stateside. As is the case with a great many ska bands, the Rumble Strips don’t take themselves too seriously. The song topics range from desperately wishing a bicycle were a motorcycle in “Motorcycle”, to not playing dumb to win affection in “Don’t Dumb Down”, to smashing an alarm clock with a hammer in “Alarm Clock”. These are not songs about rocket science, but they are entertaining: “He kept waking me up / All the time / Saying beep beep beep / Get on your feet / You gotta get a job ‘cos you’re in too deep / Oh no!”. One of the most infectious songs off the album, “Girls and Boys in Love” is one that will get anyone’s toes tapping and hands clapping. In the times today, it’s good that there are bands bringing the mood up.