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July 13, 2024

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The Busters
Make A Move! (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Forming in the late 80's for a birthday party for their original vocalist, everything began to snowball for these guys from Wiesloch, Germany. Slowly building a fan base, as time passed the crowds grew larger and larger. Two-tone ska right down to the core, The Busters keep you dancing and drinking throughout this twenty-two-track disc (including five special Euro-ska tracks).

Starting off with some words of wisdom, "Enjoy Yourself" gets you listening with a mid-tempo beat that will have you steadily dancing and laughing. "It's good to be wise when you're young/Cause you could only be young but for once," is the topic at hand, and as they offer up these wise words, you can't help but ignore them and have fun (Which are in fact 'enjoying yourself.')

Flowing like a healthy waterfall, the organ on "Joe King" lights a flame under your feet and helps push your body to its boiling point. As you sit there and start to burn up, the punchy ska beats will start to slap you until you dance around with them. Of course the song is bouncy and fun, but a dark feeling seems to also creep along with the song. Once everything starts to take full bloom, the dark feeling will make itself more and more apparent, and pretty soon you'll be so turned off you'll move on to the next song.

The next song, the title track, is a jazzy-ska number that goes down smooth with a steamy lounge feel. Imagine sitting back in a red leather booth at some jazz club in the late fifties. While the smoke fills the room and the women run around in silky dresses, the music sets the right atmosphere for people to interact and dance with each other. With the piano pushing the jazz feel, and the guitar overwhelming the song with the upbeat, the competition produces a hot number that will appeal to all your senses.

With the two-tone in full force, the pop urges of "Come On" take the driver's seat and drive straight through your body. The rhythm section will have your feet tapping, while the guitar goes straight for the feet. Together though, everything's a different picture. They play with a pop undertone, passing over you and keeping you bouncing around. However your body reacts, believe me when I say you won't be able to sit down. The song's livelihood and active pulse will thump and thump along with your feet, that's for sure.

Showing the difference between the American and Euro counterparts, five re-recorded 'Euro-ska' tracks were added at the end of this disc. "Do What You Want," the second track on this disc, became "Fais ce que tu Veux." With the same bouncy beat as the American version, the only difference, as you can guess, is the language. It's reassuring to know that the lead singer has no clue what he's singing, but the music does do a good job of re-enforcing the fact that "music is a universal language.'

Bouncy and fast paced one minute, and slow and steady the next, The Busters have no problem playing sweaty dance numbers back-to-back with love songs. A good mixture of two-tone styles, the songs have strong family ties, while also creating their own identity. I'll give the album a B+.

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