The politically-motivated ferocity of an infuriated generation wrapped up in a mischievous two-tone package and finished off with an infectious ska-punk bow is exactly what you get with the release of Increasing The Minimum Rage, the latest album from street punks Faintest Idea.
When it comes to ska, the old argument is dragged up again and again: “all ska sounds the same!” Now, while there are similarities between bands, it’s a little naive to tar one genre with the same brush. Faintest Idea occasionally fall into the repetitive trap during this 11-track album, with horn section melodies beginning to blur and turn our brains to ska-infused mush.
But there are lots of ways in which Faintest Idea step away from expectations, and we’d much rather focus on that. With aggressive album opener ‘Circling the Drain’ we’re taken back to the rawness of early two-tone, with this gnarly edge making for a earthier punk sound. Increasing The Minimum Rage delves into the heavier end of ska-punk, and we hear this in the riotous rolling drums, fast, breathless vocals and anthemic yells of ‘The Well Has Run Dry’. Not many bands of this genre dare to go so heavy, and we have to applaud Faintest Idea for that.
Political sparks fly with this record, from the gun laws and drug trades thrown about in ‘Stick ‘Em Up (Lords of War)’ to the harmonised chants of ‘No Consequences’ which remind us of political punk band Anti-Flag. Even the chilled-out, reggae-inspired tunes such as ‘Throw Away the Key’ explore what lies ahead for the future generations, not shying away from what needs to be said.
Faintest Idea are brave enough to venture into areas that other ska-punk bands wouldn’t dream of and so, for that, we can happily forgive their occasional routine rhythm and predictable performance.
Increasing The Minimum Rage is released on 1st April 2016 via TNSRecords.