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September 19, 2017


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Skinnerbox
What You Can Do. What You Can't. (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Skinnerbox blends ska, reggae, soul, punk, and jazz to create a heavy arsenal of dance rhythms. If you don't dance from the opening beat to me final beat on the album your "weird." This album will take you by storm and your feet won't stop! Hit the repeat button, because your feet and brain both want to be served some more Skinnerbox.

The disc starts off with "Pushing it," a heavy blend of danceable ska combined with a nice dose of soul and jazz. The horns will blind you with enthusiasm, the melodies run wild in your brain, and the voice of King Django will just drive you into a frenzy. After just one single track your hooked! Track two, "You Knock The Wind Out of Me," starts off with some very relaxing ska. When the vocals enter you'll be slowly dancing to the beat. Then the song jumps into warp speed and your feet will be taken from under you as you dance, dance, and dance to the melody. The song slightly slows down to a mid-tempo pace that is perfect dance speed. "Baby" starts off with some nice ska guitar, steady drums, strong bass, and beautiful keyboards. Add to that the horns and your emotions will be tapped into, and you'll fall in love all over again with this CD. The song takes a nice, slow-medium pace while the vocals harmoniously pour out their soul. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. There is so much love and heart put into this song. "2-Face," takes a more aggressive approach with it's fast paced blend of ska, soul, and punk. "You little shit/you can kiss my ass/you got nothing to say/but such a big fucking mouth," portray the anger the song is filled with. Fast paced aggression that will whip you into a frenzy as you jump around to the fierce horns, the melodic screams of the vocals, and the strong guitar riffs that will grab you and spit you back out. The next track, "Does He Love You?" slows down the pace and gives you a chance to calmly dance to the music. The sweet and rich vocals of King Django will fill your heart with so much warmth, and your body will just sway with all the love this song gives off. "This A New York" offers some mid-tempo soul meets ska meets reggae. "This a New York and this is not London/This a New York and this is not Kingston/This is America, this is not Jamaica/This is America and not England" are song with a reggae feel to the words. The guitar will get your body moving, as it thunders it's way up the mix and is very strong during the song. "Addiction" will get you hooked too! It's a song about being hooked to cigarettes, but that's not what you will be hooked on. You'll be hooked on the unique flavor of every Skinnerbox song, and that "Addiction" will feed your brain, and your impulses will make you jump up and dance. "Vinny Stigma" closes out a terrific CD with it's danceable rhythms and weird lyrics about Vinny. Rough and tough and spoken like a slob. Once again, Skinnerbox hits you with something new. The only thing you can do is dance and have fun, and that's what this album is all about!

I can't say enough good things about this disc. It is so powerful and provocative, even the cover (which has a nude female with a dog on top of her) will bring out your emotions. Whether they are "this is sick!" or "quite interesting! Only ska innovators Skinnerbox could pull this off" you'll feel something. And if you can't handle the cover, the music will tear you to shreds. This album is an A+ effort! This is one of my favorite discs at present. Do yourself a favor. Get this CD, invite over some friends, and look yourselves into a room and just have fun!

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