Let me cut to the chase: it was worth the wait.
UK mash-up masters Sonic Boom Six announced a Pledgemusic campaign for a their 5th album way back in 2014. There was the usual funding period, bonuses, teasers, the works. But, no album. A few months back, they dropped a music video for “No Man, No Right,” the song that would open the album in it’s full-length form. Earlier this week the band posted a music video for “From the Fire to the Frying Pan” and we learned that we would soon get the rest of the tunes.
Music Video: “From the Fire to the Frying Pan”
Today they band dropped “The F-Bomb” and let me be one of first to say that this album does not disappoint. The songs in the videos set the tone for an album that’s equally lyrically powerful and completely danceable start to finish. “No Man, No Right’s” equality anthem leads right into “From the Fire to the Frying Pan,” a damning response to wingnut nativism that seems to plague the UK as much as it does state-side.
It only gets better from there. There’s a party anthem, signature SB6 hip-hop, a guest appearance from Coolie Ranx, reggae, a dance track reminiscent of Daft Punk, and clap-a-longs. The album’s empowerment themes pick up again with affirming “Worship Yourself.” The authoritative Duff Guide to Ska cites “Joanna” as the first pro-trans ska song:
“This song makes the case that the best way to overcome one’s fears/prejudices/misconceptions is through our connections to people who are different that you are. And, again, that’s why it’s so vital that we live, go to school, work, and socialize in diverse communities, so we come into regular, close contact with all sorts of people and have a greater understanding, acceptance, and love of other people’s differences. “
I never expected a “Whine n Grind/Stand Down Margaret” inspired rhythm to get me choked up but here I was, grateful and touched to hear a song that proclaims the beauty in every person. If that somehow isn’t enough for you, the Spotify release contains a live set, too.
Yes, this album has dance beats, sing-a-longs, and great hooks, but it’s so much more. I think this album portrays all of our aspirations for the scene we may think we have, but we haven’t yet created. This is Sonic Boom Six at their finest, delivering the most important of messages in only the way they can.
“We got to stand for something, it’s all or nothing.”
BIG TUNES: No Man No Right, Do What You Wanna Do, Joanna