The Trojans Smash It With Latest Album
The Trojans new album Smash It is another mighty gem from the mind of Gaz Mayall and his merry band of tricksters. There is no sound like The Trojans and never will be because it is both worldly and distinctly London, a gentle jigsaw of combined parts from around the world. Seriously after this many years you know what you are getting with a Trojans album and this certainly is no disappointment.
The latest salvo in Celtic Ska mastery is 17 tracks of sounds that can’t help to make your body shake a leg and want to dance. They were always in another level compared to other acts they came up with, such as The Del Tones, The Loafers and Hot Knives, although all are great bands they just didn’t hold a candle to the songwriting of Gaz. While each of those artists wrote songs that related to things in the world, Gaz writes songs of the world. The cross genres and land divisions. He’s big in Japan is not just a fact but it truly means something when discussing The Trojans.
Right from the first track “Elephant Killers” you know you are dealing with a man on a purpose. In this track he talks about illegal poaching! When was the last time you had a band let alone a Ska band rush head on into such lyrical content. It’s a tongue lashing against the people kill these beautiful albums. It’s also a call to action proclaiming NAME & SHAME those that hunt and kill. Deep stuff indeed. The 2nd “Misogyny” leaves nothing to the imagination as to what the song will be about. There are also straight up Ska ditties still though such as “The Smasher” and surf-guitary stomper. There is enough to balance the whole affair. The album is right up there with the best of 2 Tone as far as just plain fun exciting numbers mushed up next to heavy topical rants. One of the tracks is even named after the all girl Russian band that was jailed Pussy Riot and is just as much a political song as Free Nelsen Mandela ever was. I love it. This is what music should be!
Zoe Devlin is a nice added touch bringing some of that classic male/female duet stylings into the fold. I have a hard time listening to most modern female singers. None can really hold my attention like the greats of the past such as Peggy Lee, Phyllis Dillon, Billy Holiday, Norma Fraser anyway. Zoe doesn’t try to be anything other than a world class singer though and I think it works really well in this group. She does a cover of “Perfidia” that while not as deeply haunting as versions made famous before find that right balance to be exciting and pleasureable to listen to.
The last track is a cover of “Picture of the Wall” only with the lyrics changed to Trainers on the Floor. The song is of course referencing someones clothes which are of course left all over the floor. A fun little tune to take us out of this collection of songs. I love the album and highly recommend everyone picking it up.
Jump Up Records has the CD and LP on sale for great prices. The LP has been released on Gaz’s long standing Gaz’s Rockin Records on yellow vinyl as well! It looks awesome and I’ll be picking that up for sure. You can sample some tracks below.
1. Elephant Killers
3. Flim Flam Man
4. Floss It
5. Swine It (feat. Zoe Devlin)
6. Stay Away (feat. Zoe Devlin)
7. The Smasher
8. Witchcraft (I Blame the Parents)
9. Pussy Riot (Girl Power)
10. Farmer O’Leary
11. Salt Fish Soup
12. Bertie’s Rhino
13. Ko Jo Rocksteady
14. April Fool
15. Perfidia (feat. Zoe Devlin)
16. Love Is All I Had (feat. Zoe Devlin)
17. Trainers On the Floor (feat. Zoe Devlin)
If you want to see just why I love this band and the crazy their parties can get then take a few minutes to watch this clip. It’s from Gaz’s 55th Birthday Party Under the Westway 29th Dec 2012