Censored - 'Sunrise On The Checkered Horizon' (self released) 4/5
Now although the recording and the production on this is a little ragged around the edges, these are demo recordings after all, I've gotta say the music on offer here is pretty damn good. It draws on influences from the classic two tone sounds of the likes of early Madness, the Specials and Selector, adds in a lot of King Prawn, Mighty Mighty Bosstones style modern punk SKA fusion and then sprinkles the whole lot with a good dose of crusty hardcore attitude.
All the tracks on offer are short and snappy, the longest being a shade over two and a half minutes, yet each one is a little gem, packed with high energy skanky guitars, viciously angry 'fuck the system' lyrics and some top rate danceable rhythms. The result is a snapshot of the great band Censored could well have been. Tracks like the glorious anti-military frenzy of Go Army, the slightly twisted Baby Killing Fiesta and the dub fueled Ghetto Boombox are all little gems that had they been properly recorded and released could well have become SKA-core classics. There is not a weak moment on offer and I defy all lovers of SKA, punk and hardcore not to find this album highly listenable.
However unless Censored decide to do the old reformation bit, tracks like these are set only to become lost gems, so I recommend all lovers of this kind of stuff to download this album (it is free after all) and keep this music alive before it is lost for ever.
A lost gem if ever there was.
For fans of... King Prawn, Madness, Dutty Luck, Operation Ivy, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones....
Download this album for free from - http://censored.bandcamp.com/album/sunrise-on-the-checkered-horizon
Note - since penning the above I have received this message...
" Thanks for the kind words Jon! While the band is long gone, my love for ska and reggae remains. I'm glad that some fans of the genre can still find enjoyment in these recordings. The recording process is a storied one, for sure. We tried to track it three or four separate times. It seems each was interrupted by some new catastrophe; members in jail, stolen gear and more culminating in one of the recording studios getting burglarized along with our nearly-completed masters. This version of the album was created by making a rough master of some 30 minute mixes given to us leaving one of the earlier studio sessions to check out in the car. I left in all the talking before and after tracks, because why not?
If you get the chance and want to hear what I'm up to now, check out my current band Automorrow. Our new album is certainly more rock-oriented but you'll still find many traces of my love for ska and reggae within.