So, this is RX Bandits second album, after the much acclaimed ''Progress'' album. And boy, has progress been made. Out growing the ska-punk roots and fufiling that suspicion that they could be something more, RX Bandits truly blossom on this album.
Staying true to their reggae roots, the album deals with a fair bunch of social/political issues. Opener ''Sell You Beaufitul'' burts straight out htere with a rockign anthem questioning superficiality in today's society. Fluctuating from punk, to ska, to reggae, and back again, this song twsist and turns through the verses, with some neat guitar work, before exploding all over the place when it comes to the chorus. The same is true of much of the album, with Newstand Rock probably the most conventional slice of hard hitting rock on the whoel album. And it dosen't dissapoint.
Songs like Overcome dig deeper into their reggae roots, starting with a calm, chillin' bass line, but by the end upping the tempo so much, mirroring the frenzied urgency behind the song's anti war message. The middle duo,, Never Slept So Soundly, and Taking Chase.... are easily my favourites on the album, the former building up nicely with nice instrumental work, giving a sense of calm and peace, while at the same time conveying the singers emotion with the greatest of ease. The chorus takes a route down the pop-punk road, but still manages to stay true to RX Bandits signature sound. The latetr song starts of with soem addictive guitar work, then mixing up the ska and reggae in a song which really showcases the band's style very well.
Even the longer songs such as Mastering the List offer massive hooks, which grip the listener and entice them to sing along to every word. Pal-Treaux has another brilliant, catchy chorus, bringing the ska and generally lifting the mood. If I was to make on criticism of this record, however, it would be that alot of the songs can end up sounding very similar, and I feel that this is due to the band creating a sound which is pretty unique (well I personally don't listen to anything else that sounds like this), and so the mind automatically links all the songs together. However, once you listen though the album, and identify songs which you really like, these songs stand out so much more, in other words, the album has to grow on you, because when I first heard it, I actually HATED it.