Punchbowl – 3 Days in Corby

Punchbowl – 3 Days in Corby (demo) – 3.5/5

I once hinted at the fact that this complete unknown would eventually get mentioned; a 8-piece ska band from my hometown (hence how I came into possession of their only demo), disbanding all too soon leaving only a single page on ‘garageband’ commemorating that they ever existed. This is just one of what I’m sure are thousands of artists whose work will never see light; who will never land the deal that’ll grant them more than just local exposure, but one that assuredly deserved it.

The trumpets and trombone constantly work in the back, often following similar lines, their large number perhaps a little redundant in the end result – particularly the rarely distinguished lines from the saxophone amidst all this – they act almost like violins do for the atmosphere, creating an upbeat care-free tone rather than a gothic one. Worked in with this are the strong yet simple bass lines, acting independent of the other musicians; along with the vocals they carry the majority of the rhythm, allowing the final touches to emerge from the jazzy chords and raw, unrefined vocals.

It’s sad that only a demo’s worth of music exists, but even this is better than no trace at all. Fans of bouncy ska punk along the veins of ‘Reel Big Fish’ or ‘Mad Caddies’ may entertain the rawer sound sported in this release, and whilst they don’t reinvent the wheel, they retain the energy of the better artists emerging with all the catchy chorus lines to boot. This is ‘The Clash’ of ska; the singer can’t sing and everything feels very basic, and yet still these factors don’t prevent it from being oddly addictive.

Highlight: Inside my Head