Bristling With Fun Filled Aggression
Bouncing around like a drug crazed kangaroo crazily searching for its next hit, Northampton's Magic Skool Bus bristle with a Ska infused dose of punk that's engaged in mortal combat with a thrash metal mentality to guarantee you are pogoing around aggressively in no time. Unavoidably inducing a frenzy of fun, debut album 'Café Trauma' is a brash blast of fast frantic beats, blazing brass and screamingly fun vocals that could kick start a party in a morgue. Prepare to be uncontrollably dancing like an idiot within the first few seconds.
Like The Specials drenched in a tonne of thrash metal, Magic Skool Bus are a band who clearly do not stick to conformity, preferring instead to mix things up and bask in the outcome as 'Café Trauma' injects the upbeat adrenalin fused stealth of ska with the frantic rawness of metal. Hard-hittingly catchy with the built in fun factor 'Café Trauma' brazenly kicks things off properly with 'Ninjacore' that speedily pummels around with a party ethos underpinned by shouting vocals that all but scream lyrics, standing in stark contrast to the exuberant attitude oozing out of Magic Skool Bus's beats. Cranking the ska knob up even further, 'Milk 'N' Apples' is as close to The Specials as you are going to get without a time machine. With a reggae undercurrent rippling throughout, 'Milk 'N' Apples' is described as "an attack on media manipulation of neo imperialist values" but quite frankly the track is so contagiously aggressive, even managing a harsh guitar meltdown towards the end, that you simply get lost in the brilliance of the song. 'Sunday Drivers' meanwhile finds the band blending the lines between ska and metal so expertly that they blur into one, making for an engagingly catchy song that will have you hooked.
Not everything is party perfect in the realm of Magic Skool Bus though and sadly its when their more metal yearnings rears its head that things go slightly awry. 'Time Gentlemen Please' pummels with rage fuelled shouting and thrashing guitars that any young metal band would boast about but the inclusion of brass on this occasion just seems misplaced and slightly contrived, a pitfall 'The Protagonist' avoids with skill. Adopting a slower pace and a more serious outlook, 'The Protagonist' perfectly wields the harsh brutality of metal with ska as the song builds momentum, perhaps making it the best track on the album. Fun has not be ostracised entirely from 'Café Trauma' though as the Northampton band cheekily start to bring things to a close with 'Well Duh!'. Although not as cheery as the title may suggest, 'Well Duh!' is vigorously rampant, charging powerfully around, slowing at times before setting off once more to insure everyone is dancing insanely.
Blurring the line between ska and metal brilliantly before sprinkling on some punk and reggae for good measure, Magic Skool Bus will leave you dazed and confusion with the ultimate dilemma – do you pogo around like a looney or strive for the air guitar crown? Whatever the decision one thing is certain, 'Café Trauma' will have you charging around the room cheerfully screeching along in an excited flurry.