Dub Pistols - Rum and Coke

Miss Fliss 02/07/2009

Rating: 2/5

I was convinced Dub Pistols were of the Rancid breed of punk/ska, but on this showing either a new musical direction has been levelled, or I was wrong. Because for eighty per cent of this album Dub Pistols have nothing to do with The Clash's school of rock, and there's nary a trace of dub in the reggae sense. Instead, DP pursue a dance/rap direction. Sometimes this gets a bit blokey and gangstery, sometimes it's euphoric summer bliss (as in the promising opening dup of Back to Daylight and ). There is a sultry summery vibe to Rum andCoke, and I can't help but love it even a smidgen for that.

It's only when we're into the last three tracks of the album that the trumpets give that outlandish pure ska blare. I'm not sure about the Kaiser Chiefs-like vocal of Keep the Fire Burning , but musically it's here that the album starts to hit any kind of stride, with Rancid-lite rhythms and Ghost Town keys.

Things reach their embers at the end and I'm left thinking that if this album had more direction and focus, honing in one or two genres, rather than straddling everything from hip-hop to dance to ska and soul balladry, then it would come away with some kind of identity, and thus some resonance of effect. As it is, Rum and Coke doesn't know what it wants to be, could be a compilation by several different artists - especially with the number of guest vocalists - and there it loses me and doesn't have me reaching for the repeat button at any point. There are a couple of enjoyable moments, but overall this is off-putting, bordering on chaos.