Roddy Radiation and The Skabilly Rebels – Blues Attack

August 20, 2009

Roddy Radiation and the Skabilly RebelsGenerally when I see a band that claims to combine two dissimilar genres of music I am more than just a little skeptical as all too often these experiments fail miserably, particularly when they involve ska music. However in the case of the Skabilly Rebels the stereotypes do not apply. This band successfully takes the best parts of rockabilly music, cuts out the cheesiness that all too often is associated with the genre and puts it to a traditional ska beat. The main reason that they do this so successfully is that the band's leader, Roddy Radiation, having been a key player in the Specials, the Bonediggers, and the Tearjerkers is a veteran and true innovator of both the English ska sound and the English rockabilly scene. With this band Mr. Radiation is joined by fellow Bonedigger, Sam Smith on rhythm guitar.

Radiation has a distinct voice which is smooth and melodic but still has a bite to it. The fact that his guitar playing is superb goes without saying, but his ability to seamlessly combine both ska and rockabilly without losing the integrity of either genre in downright amazing. The record kicks off with the title track, "Blues Attack," which is one of three songs on the album with the word blue or blues is it, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album with its rockabilly solos and ska backbeat. The next most memorable song is "Blue Guitars," which starts off with a barn burning rockabilly riff and then mellows out before raging again for the chorus of the song.

Overall Roddy Radiation has proven again that he is a truly innovative musician and may be in the process of once again reinventing the face of ska music. One has to wonder though if rude boy mods and skinheads will mix well with rockers and teddy boys. Hope that there's not a beach war!

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