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Push 'N Shove
     

Push 'N Shove

by Hepcat
 
Bringing ska into the new millennium are L.A. natives Hepcat, whose fourth album is yet another slice of rootsy purity. Unlike the hybridized sound of such third wavers as No Doubt and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, this septet falls more between pioneers like the Skatalites

Overview

Bringing ska into the new millennium are L.A. natives Hepcat, whose fourth album is yet another slice of rootsy purity. Unlike the hybridized sound of such third wavers as No Doubt and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, this septet falls more between pioneers like the Skatalites and the U.K.'s '80s Two-Tone movement. Throughout Push 'N Shove, the brass is out front and punchy sounding, while the drumming is punctuated with plenty of crisp rimshots and shuffling brushstrokes on both instrumentals ("The Spins") and songs with soulful harmonies ("Live On"). Like legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Hepcat display an impressive range that covers many of the musical shifts Jamaica has gone through. And they've got a little help from their friends: Former front man and current actor Alex Desert takes the lead on a chugging cover of old-school calypso artist Lord Funny's "Tek Dat" and the more rock-steady romanticism of "You and I." Elsewhere, Dance Hall Crashers' Karina Denike uses a sultry tone reminiscent of Jamaican songbird Nadine Sutherland to add to the smoky ambiance throughout the dub-heavy "Prison of Love." Equally impressive is the crackling remake of Brenton Wood's hit "Gimme Little Sign," which does the soul singer proud.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
In the 1990s, a variety of young bands found a variety of ways to use the ska beat. Many of them combined ska with punk or pop and did so with interesting results; no one would mistake the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, or No Doubt for an authentic Jamaican ska band of the 1960s, but then, none of those bands have claimed to be ska purists. They are rockers who love ska, not disciples of the Skatalites or Toots & the Maytals. Hepcat, however, is another matter. While other bands that emerged in the 1990s offer ska-punk or ska-pop, the Los Angeles-based Hepcat really does sound like a classic Jamaican band. Push 'N Shove, Hepcat's fourth album, was recorded in L.A. in 2000, but much of the time, it sounds like it could have been recorded in Kingston in the 1960s. Most of the music on this rewarding, if derivative, CD isn't fast enough to be called ska; rather, many of the songs recall rock steady, an early form of reggae. From a remake of Brenton Wood's 1960s soul hit "Gimme Little Sign" to Hepcat's own material, Push 'N Shove often takes you back to a time when Jamaican greats like Desmond Dekker, the Wailers, and the Paragons were being influenced by the great soul music that was coming out of Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia -- a time when residents of Kingston and Montego Bay were well aware of what the Delfonics, the Impressions, and Marvin Gaye were up to in the United States. While Push 'N Shove isn't innovative or distinctive, it's heartfelt and certainly rewarding.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2000
Label:
Hellcat Records
UPC:
0045778041923
catalogNumber:
80419
Rank:
58847

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