Alright vinyl fans, time to scrape some cash together for the new 7” from The Bishops. The Bishops have been doing their thing since 1995, and I am sad to say that I had not heard of them until about a year or two ago. Both their sets (alone and backing Monty Neysmith) at last year’s Fistful of Ska were some of the best of the night. Let’s check out their new tunes, shall we?
- “Black and Tan”- Why is it that ska songs about drinking never get old? The Bishops bring their horn-heavy sound to this traditional number. Each horn gets a chance to shine with their own solo and the organ adds that something extra to the mix. Grade: B+
- “The Ol’ 49r”-This is a fantastic groovy little instrumental. The horns don’t come until the halfway mark, letting the organ be the star of the show. Don’t miss the killer guitar solo. Great track! Grade: A
While overdone studio manipulation has crept its way into the ska genre, The Bishops new single is the antithesis of this. This album is a great example of a talented band playing their collective hearts out. Because I had the privilege of catching them at a live show, I can vouch for the musicianship that they bring. Avoiding the trap at trying to sound inventive or original, The Bishops have perfected the basic elements of traditional ska. From the often peppy organ to the bombastic horn section to the ska guitar, this band has honed their craft. Overall this is a great record that will tease fans until they release their next full length. Check it out!
Overall Grade: A-
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