Dig out your checkerboard vans, cut-off Chino shorts and dust off the skateboard you bought from Casino back in the day. In Leicester the summer of 2007 hasn’t finished just yet.
Best Foot Forward is the latest record from Leicester based skankers Last Edition, and it’s filled right to the brim with sunshine, partying, and all things two-tone. Kicking things off; album opener Fistful of Ska is a solid first track choice. A big chorus interwined with a dancing Sax melody, which immediately grabs your attention. Reeling you in with a hypnotic, rhythmic bass line and an abundance of harmonies.
Taking influence from bands like Reel Big Fish and Mad Caddies, BFF is a wholesome slice of mid-noughties fun, with a strong UK sound. In a genre filled with acts from Wales trying to sound like they’re from California, it’s refreshing to hear someone embrace their roots and ditch the idea of an American accent.
It’s somewhat to be expected from a Ska band, but this isn’t anything you’ve never heard before. To expect huge innovations from this genre would be a total misunderstanding of the scene, and as a ‘Ska’ album, BFF feels complete and whole; the songs are fun, loud, and mostly about having a bloody good time – everything Ska Punk is about. It feels harsh to criticise Last Edition for this, but BFF doesn’t experiment outside of the ‘norm’. Soul Bamba is a perfect example of this – a fantastic track, full of hooks and a sing-a-long chorus; but on a blind listen, you’d be hard pressed to identify the band.
Album highlights included Beer O’Clock, a massively dancey two-tone effort, and If Ska Ruled the World – which screams it’s MXPX influence proudly. Album closer Million Times couldn’t have a better chorus if it tried, and features one of the best Sax solos since Baker Street.
There’s nothing in Best Foot Forward for anyone who likes to find a meaning in the music they listen to, and unless you like drinking, dancing, and sunshine you’re definitely not going to be into this – but Last Edition aren’t trying to start a revolution. They aren’t trying to make you think about life or spread a message. They just want to make you dance – And dance you will.