Of all the fantastic bands on display at the recent ska-punk all-dayer, 7-Day Conspiracy were one of the very few bands I unfortunately missed. Which is a shame, as I did catch literally 30 seconds of their set, and that 30-second sampler was very promising - fast and hard skate-punk stylings with real bite and vigour. Which is why when a friend offered me the chance to have a listen to their EP, I jumped at the opportunity, and I've been busy catching up on what I missed, which is, it seems, something quite impressive.
'The Man Who Stole The World' is a bit of a curve-ball opening to the record, being as it is a lovely slice of atmospheric and catchy street-reggae, accented by some classy harmonica and with vocalist Dirty's gritty tones cutting through the mix, it is a real belter, topped off with some subtle distorted guitar licks not that far removed from Paul Fox's guitar work on The Ruts' 'Jah War'.
The rest of the record is packed with belting, lightning-fast punk, almost verging on the hardcore end of punk in some places, especially on the machine-gun bursts of 'Kicked to Death' and 'Go Back to Sleep' which both pass by in under a minute of aural mayhem. The mix is rough and messy, with the vocals often segueing into the chaos and sometimes being difficult to hear, but this doesn't detract hugely from the impact this will have being blasted out of your stereo. If you look for immediate comparisons, then I would say it sounds like a mix of early Oi! punk, several early NOFX cuts, mixed in with very early Bad Religion and Rise Against.
The record's sure-fire standout is the fantastic 'Open Your Eyes', which, alongside 'The Man...' makes this record worth buying on it's own. It's not as fast as their other onslaughts, but it works in their favour here, as they take the chance to throw some nice reggae-style interludes into the verses and pre-choruses to augment the furiously catchy chorus and driving rhythms.
This is all very promising stuff, and points towards a great future for the Sittingborne quartet - all that lets this particular offering down is a slight lack of cohesion caused by a rough, low-fi mix on most of the tracks bar 'The Man...', but this is nothing that can't be sorted on future discs. Apart from that, there is great potential here, and I wait with baited breath for future releases and live appearances.
Standout tracks: The Man Who Stole The World, Open Your Eyes.