Thursday, 31 May 2012

Inner Terrestrials - Tales of Terror CD

Some of my first delvings in to punk music were via the punk/ska/dub scene which has always been bubbling just under the surface of the UK’s musical landscape, and which seemed to finally explode in the early years of the millennium when I was just discovering music in any real manner. Often the music we cherish, overplay and inflict on others when we are young palls in later years, but it seems that with bands such as the Filaments, Capdown, Inner Terrestrials etc., the fire stays stoked and withstands repeated listens over the years – and in the case of Inner T at least, the creative spark is still there, with their third full length studio album released in the last month and following hot on the heels of the first release by side project the Firepit Collective. In comparison to the previous records, with the new release the band seemed to have dropped some of their folk influences in favour of a more straightforward ska/punk/hardcore approach. Perhaps this is due to the previously mentioned Firepit Collective acting as an outlet for any folk leanings, but this is a noticeably harder, heavier record. This is not so much a pro or con but rather a mild shift in direction, because this album contains both the musical competency and passionate social anger of any of their other releases. Jay’s rough but tuneful vocals overly a musical landscape which can switch from a wall of metallic guitars and drums to chugging ska in an instant, and the lyrics are heavily focussed on current issues without being hectoring or pessimistic. Highlights include; ‘Just Say Neigh’, a song musing the dangers of the mind altering substances which sometime seem to be more a part of the scene than the music; ‘Run Tings’, which juxtaposes an upbeat ska tune with lyrics focusing on those in power who tread on those underneath them; ‘Heavens Wrath’, an exhortation to fight ‘with creativity’ (which seems to me a pretty good summation of what punk music is about); and ‘Dark Scar’, which is probably the darkest ska music has sounded since a bunch of NY squatters released ‘No Gods, No Managers’. These are just the standouts on my first listen, I can see this being a record in which more stands out with repeated hearings. It heartens me to see this band still going strong – and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that your musical preferences mean that you should hear this too.

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