Try to forget about The Ordinary Boys and Hard-Fi, the real summer of ska starts now. No corporate makeovers or reality TV shows here, just joyous rhythms and a bouncing brass section backed by lyrics that have more to offer than complaints about the monotony of a 9 'til 5.
Coming on like a cross between Bob Marley and The Specials, Bison are a band who make the most of their monicker. Featuring sampled cattle on this, their second self-released LP, and boasting nicknames like 'Iron Mike Bison', it's clear they don't take themselves too seriously.
Beyond their relaxed exterior, though, they still have beef(!): with banks ('HSB Don't C'), insomnia ('Sleepwalker') and, most surreal of all, kamikaze terrorists ('Suicide Bomber'). Underneath their party-time reggae beats an engaging lyrical heart – and with all ten members contributing to the songwriting process, you'd expect nothing less.
The juiciest fruit of their collective labour is undoubtedly the Star Wars borrowing 'Sponk', a tune so infectious it's almost worth spelling with a 'ch'. The sight of a totally sober DiS skanking around the room isn't one you'll see often, but listening to this LP in your seat is nearly impossible. You know what to do, people: buy, buy, buy.
7Rob Webb's Score