The Reggae Sessions, Vol. 1

Booze & Glory

Pirates Press, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Though London's Booze & Glory is an outfit with a penchant for anthemic street punk, certain members are actually quite keen on Jamaican music. Following a yearlong tour and promotion for their most recent LP, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Chapter IV, this 3x7” illuminates Booze & Glory's ska and reggae side with three different tunes done both stereo and mono while taking help from both Vespa and The Londonians.

One of their biggest tunes, “London Skinhead Crew,” comprises the first 7”, and the band strips away the rowdy, fist-pumping original for a Jamaican version with soft horns, a laidback atmosphere, and a much calmer atmosphere than the original. An ideal tune for an active punk worn out from a night in the pit, the track would suit a lazy day in a hammock with a frothy beverage.

“Only Fools Get Caught” leads with organs before a ska-influenced tune with muffled horn solos and the sort of punk meets reggae influences that Operation Ivy and Rancid made their name on. A lengthier track with plenty of emphasis on instrumentation (even with some solos), there's a memorable chorus that helps make this the standout tune.

The final 7” contains the more guitar focused “Leave The Kids Alone,” which is the more punk influenced of the selections, giving us more insight into their street punk tactics both lyrically and musically. A bit quicker than the rest and vocally a bit rougher, it's a fine way to punctuate the six songs here.

The link between punk and reggae/ska has been well documented already (Bad Brains, The Clash), and that continues here with Booze & Glory. Let's hope that Vol. 1 in the title implies there's more to come, because these guys are doing it just as well as those who came before them.

Rating: A-

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