Review – Buster Shuffle – ‘I’ll Take What I Want’ (2017)


Our very own punk lord Steve enjoys this new Ska record 

Buster Shuffle is a ska’n’roll combo who integrate vintage ska and punk sounds with working-class themes and frenetic piano bits, busy bass lines, anthemic hooks, and boundless enthusiasm.

I saw these guys live at a madness weekender a couple of years ago and the place was bouncing. They have had some high profile supports to Madness, The Blockheads, The Rifles, Shed Seven, The Holloways, The Wombats, Art Brut and the legendary Chas ‘n’ Dave. Past albums have featured collaborations with legendary characters from classic bands like Micky Gallagher of The Blockheads/The Clash and Roddy Radiation of The Specials.

Opener ‘I Don’t Trust a Word You Say’ and ‘See You Next Week’ could be early Madness with bouncy keyboard riffs complemented by the cockney accent but there is much more to these guys than bland copy and they clearly have many influences.

This album is packed full of such catchy stuff and their sound is hard to ignore often being more about the boogie than the skank. ‘We Fall to Pieces’ is a great bit of social commentary about the different views of the young and old played to boogie woogie piano.  They also have an artsy side that recalls the likes of Blur.

The songs have great lyrics and choruses, they mix some excellent keyboard riffs with brilliant rhythm and ‘Pretty Boy’ is testament to this. The estate also shows how their past touring with indie bands has influenced their sound

‘I’ll Be in Peckham’ is to me one of the best on the album mixing ska and indie with some great guitar riffs and the chorus is something you can’t help but singalong to. The title track with it’s great middle eight guitar riff is equally as infectious and you can see why they have been such a live pull. Banana Thief is hilarious and anyone who can make a story about stealing a banana into a song knows how to craft a tune.

I’ll Take What I Want will suit ska die-hards while broadening the band’s appeal with nods to other classic influences and styles. Go and see these guys as soon as you can but don’t forget your oyster card.  (They’ll know what I mean).

Buster Shuffle are:

Jet Baker – Piano / Lead Vocals
Terry Mascall – Drums
Tim Connell – Double Bass
James Stickley – Guitar

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