(The Voice of Treason)
Mighty Mighty Bostones, Rancid, Operation Ivy
Political bands are typically not our thing. Something about trying to sell the world on your angst against 'the system' tends to distract us from taking the musicianship seriously. Every now and then, a political act comes around that has raw talent and mood setting capabilities (e.g. Rage Against The Machine). Faintest Idea is a band that exudes authenticity and raw talent despite their UK political agenda. Their ska-punk in-your-face punch and tight approach are frankly refreshing to a genre that has seen a dramatic drop-off over the last ten years. Faintest Idea are angry, direct and serve their genre very well. The quality and depth in their music along with the British accents conjure up what the Clash might sound like had they hit the ska scene.
The album features some great production where the rawness bleeds thru, but the brass section maintains a crisp and distinctive clean style throughout. The brass section is clean loaded with great staccato technique, as the trumpets and trombone balance each other sharing equal time. Faintest Idea do a superb job bringing it down and mixing tempos which tends to be lacking in other ska bands. In addition, the background vocals are full and and well placed throughout.
The first cut, "....back To The Asylum," is actually an intriguing spoken word piece that in a classy way sets the stage about their agenda. The second track "Rattling the Cage" is one of the heavier tunes with some great mix in tempos along with a creeping introduction to the brass section. The song will provide you with a good representation of what the album is about, an album that does not skimp on hard work and adding some unique depth to the ska genre. This is not superficial ska record. "Bull In A China Shop" features infectious hooks, a very upbeat and vibrant track. "Youth" is probably one of our favorites where the back and forth interplay with the trumpet and trombone are sensational. The track features a very well placed ending as an organ leads into an excerpt from a George Carlin comedy routine about war.
Our first obscure ska-punk review for the site is a pleasant surprise. The Voice of Treason is a must have for ska fans and a great album to pick up if your thinking about giving the genre another shot. They have inspired us to visit other obscure ska bands that never received attention during the slide in popularity that the genre has witnessed. - 3/16/2014
Standout Tracks: Youth, Rattling the Cage