After a successful PledgeMusic campaign, leaving their record label and then signing to Cherry Red Records, Sonic Boom Six finally managed to release their fifth full-length album titled “The F-Bomb”. With the cover of the album showcasing a picture of lead singer Laila Khan in makeup and a niqab you knew that you were in for something different with this album.
While their last few albums found the band leaning more towards their pop and dance influences, “The F-Bomb” brings their ska and reggae roots to the forefront with their most Jamaican-infused album yet.
The first track titled “No Man, No Right” brings the political and ska elements together in a heavily influenced two-tone ska track that invokes shades of the Specials and the Selecter with danceable beats backed by lyrics that echo the sentiments of empowered women in a world of sexist men. “From The Fire To The Frying Pan” is reminiscent of a Bad Manners track with quirky keyboard parts and a solid continuous bass line throughout. “Do What You Wanna Do” comes across as a classic Sonic Boom Six song with a positive message backed by some dance/ska stylings.
Sonic Boom Six’s ska and reggae show up again and again on just about every track take precedent on tracks such as “From the Fire to the Frying Pan”, “Train Leaves Tomorrow” which features some vocals by Coolie Ranx and Joanna. The band’s dance, hip-hop and dub influences show up as well and manage to mingle with ska and reggae on just about every track. With each song there are also thought provoking messages as well as social and political undertones but not enough where it sounds preachy or overbearing.
With a conscious effort to push the ska and reggae influences to the forefront as well as some strong songwriting that isn’t afraid to touch upon touchy subjects such as sexism, racism and political corruption, “The F-Bomb” summons the ghosts of two-tone past for Sonic Boom Six’s strongest album to date.
Bottom Line: With heavy two-tone and reggae influences coupled with social and political commentary, “The F-Bomb” would have fit in perfectly with the second wave of ska.
Notable Tracks: No Man No Right, Train Leaves Tomorrow, Joanna, All The Same To Me, From the Fire To the Frying Pan