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The Skints

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The Skints are a four-piece reggae band from London, described by Clash Music as “the torchbearers for modern British reggae music.” Describing their own sound as “music from Jamaica in a London style,” The Skints mix reggae, ska and dub with touches of grime and hip-hop; a contemporary style that draws as much from the streets of the UK's capital as it does from the Caribbean. Playing hundreds of shows since 2007, The Skints have had a steady rise from the UK underground, bringing their own rays of sunshine to festivals over Europe and beyond, with even The Guardian confirming that The Skints “brought the house down” at 2014's Reading Festival.

The Skints’ newest album, FM, comes out March 9, 2015, and is their strongest to date, showing continued development in their songwriting, musicianship, studio prowess, and ideas. The record is a concept album that pays homage to their love of radio, how it shaped their musical knowledge and helped keep reggae music in all its forms alive through the years. Mixing in bits from a fictional radio station (103.Skints / Frequency Murderation) with songs that range from heavy roots reggae to Motown/ska hybrids to ragga/dancehall to rocksteady to grime, the record shows off the many facets of the band’s musical personality in a seamless, coherent flow. Produced once again with British reggae vanguard Prince Fatty (Hollie Cook, Lily Allen) at the controls, it includes guest spots by Tippa Irie, Horseman, grime MC Rival, and even a surprise appearance by comedian Rufus Hound.

The Skints' previous full-length, Part And Parcel (2012), saw them fully transform the energy of their live show into a stunning sophomore release. The crowdfunded album was an instant critical hit, with Rock Sound declaring it a “modern dub, reggae and hip-hop inspired classic.” Buoyed by the viral success of the video of their cover of Katy B's “On A Mission” – supported on social media by the song's original producer Benga and Katy B herself and with over 500,000 plays on YouTube – The Skints went on to promote the release with tours with You Me At Six, Easy Star All-Stars and Sublime With Rome. Winning over fans and critics along the way, their ten date headline tour of the UK sold out every venue, ending at an oversold Scala. Their ascent continued across 2013-2014 with a remarkable run of European festivals including Reggae Sun Ska, Summerjam, Dour Festival, Reading and Leeds Festival, Chiemsee Summer, Radio 1's Big Weekend and a memorable set in the rain in front of a 10,000 strong crowd of die-hard Skints fans at Boomtown Fair. The band ended 2014 with the Jagermeister Music Tour (with Me First and Gimme Gimmes) – selling out Brixton Academy in the process – and looks forward to heavy touring in support of FM, including the band’s first shows in the United States, and plenty of shows in the UK and Europe.

Not bad going for a band who started out as friends at a culturally-mixed London school back in 2005, then teenagers knee-deep in an underground scene ruled by punk and ska music. It wasn't long before the group's record collections reached back across the history of rebel music to the likes of Johnny Clarke, Culture and The Abyssinians for altogether rootsier inspirations. Across an EP in 2008, and début album Live, Breathe, Build, Believe in 2009, The Skints progressed from playing squats to stages and refined their identity from punk ragga urchins to become an outfit deemed “the most accessible pure British reggae music you'll find these days” by A New Take. When fans and critics hear FM, they’ll hear a band that has come a long way from those humble beginnings and a record that recalls influences as disparate as mid-period Clash, Tenor Saw, The Roots Radics, Rancid, The Shirelles, Wiley, Jimmy Cliff, and Black Flag. It’s hard not to hear FM and get excited wondering about what the band will do next. As the band sings on the record’s last song, “Don’t you worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow won’t be worrying about you.” Just enjoy this release and get out to see the band live if you can.

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