In recent years there has been an strong retro trend in music and among the leaders of this movement is the New Jersey label “Daptone Records” who does soul and funk the old fashioned way it used to be made, organic and with real instruments. This is their first venture into Jamaican music and Rocksteady.
Those of us who like labels like “Studio One” or “Treasure Isle” and artists like “Alton Ellis” or “Paragons” should check out “The Frightnrs”. They formed in 2010 and hails from Queens, NY and has been locally active ever since. They released an ep (and some tunes) prior to “Nothing to say” which is their first full length album and my introduction to the group.
The album starts with “All my tears” a melancholic but energetic Rocksteady gem dealing with unlucky love. It’s an amazing tune and it’s clear we are dealing with something very special. The voices are as smooth and silky as can be and the musicianship is on top. More heartaches are served on track 3, “Must find a way”, im getting such a strong “Alton Ellis” vibe from this album. If we skip a few (genius) tracks things get a bit more upbeat on “Trouble in here” which is a bit faster and has a “rudebwoy” vibe with it’s non-descript threats of violence if someone does not get their act together.
One of my favorites on here is “Til then” which serves us more pain and broken hearts over semi-melancholic vibes. If you are “slow” and has not noticed it by now, this albums main theme is “unlucky love”. If Slim Smith where alive he would be proud of their tunes of emotional pain even though they don’t feel quite as dark as he does. Every song is not about broken hearts though, “Hey brother (do unto others) offers a break from the pain and suffering. In a perfect world this would be the track that made it to Radio as it’s a bit more lighthearted (without selling out) and has some very catchy organ play.
All in all this is an amazing album, I know I said earlier that “The Viceroys” released the album of the year but after this HUGE album it’s safe to say they share the first place with “The Frightnrs”, there is no way that anyone will top this album for the rest of the year. It’s nice to see there is new bands going the traditional Jamaican route over a more punk oriented take on SKA and Rocksteady. Go and buy it NOW, that is an order!
Check out their website here
Go to Amazon and buy it here