Music and politics have always gone hand in hand. With drastic changes in the political landscape following a year of referendums and general elections, the stage is set for the next generation of socially-conscious artists to step up and set the world to rights.
Step forward Redditch trio Shooze with their Classified EP, a short and sweet 15 minute showcase of their ska-punk sound. Taking cues from the likes of The Clash, UB40 and The Police, the band ditch the “sunshine and skating” approach of other bands of their genre and take a more militant approach, delivering mixed results.
Groove-laden opener and lead single Minimum Wages is certainly catchy, yet unconvincing as an attack on taxation. The ending lines of “gimme my money back/fuck the tax man” are delivered without any punch, and Trouble in London fairs no better with its Russel Brand style soapbox approach to politics. Despite a solid rhythm section boosted by brooding brass, it’s a clumsy and clichéd attempt at addressing the social issues of the capital. Rolling on the Wrong Side pulses between ska and Rage Against the Machine-esque riffs, before the forgettable Cruel Love. Final track Animal City is the redeeming feature of the EP. They successfully combine punk and ska elements here, delivering a far heavier and convincing track with a much more palpable sense of anger.
Despite the intentions of the band, the contents of Classified EP certainly aren’t sensitive enough to be labelled as such. Ignore the lazy political posturing however and what is left is a collection of infectious songs that establish Shooze as ones to watch. (3/5)