STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 136954-20379 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Jon Cooper
Britain's ska team SOS have been around awhile, and 'IV: The Rise Of The Ska Machine' certainly sounds like a band at the peak of their powers. This release ticks many boxes; musically arresting, accessible, credible, yet uncompromised in terms of lyrical content or philosophy. From the opening cinematic instrumental, via the cleverly-arranged brass stabbings of "Promise, to the instantly sing-able "Son", 'IV' is that rare thing; an unquestionably "Christian" album you'd pass on to a friend for purely musical reasons, but which will hit them right between the eyes with what matters most. The attention to detail lavished upon this release is evident throughout; there's no such thing as a straightforward arrangement on show here, and the impossibly tight backing vocal arrangements repeatedly give the songs wings. "He Died For You" sounds like Faith No More's "Epic" and (I imagine) must go down a storm at gigs. Tracks like "Worship You" and a fresh, energetic take on the ancient hymn "How Great Thou Art" maintain the focus, before album closer "New" provides yet another sing-along chorus to leave you reaching for the "repeat all" button on your stereo remote. My kids were really into this over breakfast before school - and if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.
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