The tidal wave of Modern Reggae in the US has turned independent artists into bonafide headline acts at outdoor amphitheaters from Colorado’s Red Rocks to Washington DC’s Wolf Trap. Bands coming out of the West Coast reggae tradition, as well as some of the Pacific Islands’ finest, have already found mainstream success flying the reggae flag, and the scene has barely dipped its toes into the water of alternative radio. Reggae’s popularity stateside has begun to draw the attention of the music industry over the pond, so it’s not a huge surprise that The Skints, a band coming out of the East London ska/punk/reggae tradition, are gearing up for their first release on New York’s Easy Star Records, to be followed by an extensive tour in major, secondary, and even some third-tier US markets as well as California Roots Music Festival in May.
The Skints are a band with a mature sound that references the ‘80s London scene that brought forth amazing new music, and in many ways spawned what happened in California a musical generation later. The group’s third album FM is primed to further establish interdependence between the US and UK reggae markets.
Ever since the infectious success of Dub Side of The Moon, Easy Star has solidified its place in the worldwide reggae scene. The label’s European rapport comes from a tenure at Midem, longtime distribution and marketing partnerships in Benelux, sitting at the same table as Italy’s Goodfella’s, and with the intrinsic street credit that comes only from the selectors on the streets who find Easy Star LP’s in Berlin’s vinyl shops. The label’s clout in both the US and Europe, and The Skints’ exceptional album FM set the stage perfectly to take advantage of this partnership.
With next week’s release of FM, The Skints will have officially arrived in the US, and I sincerely hope that people in our scene hear the music like we do and that the album catches ablaze. The record is hot and makes you want to ride a scooter and wear a West Ham United jersey while still catching roots grooves and showcasing dub stylings that coalesce with what’s happening over here. The Skints might just be the first UK export since Steel Pulse to capture the spirit of the reggae scene on both sides of the Atlantic. The single “In The Night” gives you a good idea of what to expect from the record, featuring the dancehall flow of Horseman on top of a dub groove that will make your spine tingle.
The Skints: http://www.theskints.co.uk/