Following the ska brilliance that was Popes of Chillitown’s sophomore record ‘To The Moon’, released back in 2015, the London based genre concoction is back with vengeance with their third full-length album ‘Work Hard, Play Hard, See You in the Graveyard’.
Self-released on May 4, 2018
Not heard of these guys before? Well then you’re missing out, that’s for sure. Just imagine the most fluent and amalgamation of ska-punk, reggae, drum & bass and everything in between and you’ve discovered the secret to Popes’ formidable sounds. What may sound implausible on paper only delivers in heaps and bounds when executed by the sextet.
They waste no time in redeeming their rightful place as one of the most diverse and complex beings in the punk genre. The exhilarating tempos from establishing track ‘Prang’ is classic Pope vibes that we have all grown to adore. That accustomed variety in their doesn’t cease any time soon as it is followed up with single ‘Get Off/Get On’, which features beloved jangly guitars and upbeat choruses that feature stand-out brass lead. The track builds to an epic bridge/ending sequence that is sure to get your heart pounding.
Their quirkiness stands out in ‘Vexed’; a track that is clearly loud and proud to be so. The lyrics may come across somewhat crude, but there is plenty of personality crammed into the track that suits the varying sound of their ska-punk brew. They showcase a semi-slower side to their repertoire in the chilled-out bridge that wastes no time in escalating to our regularly scheduled chaos.
The stand-out track from the entire album has to be the complexity from ‘No Manners in Ireland’. The vocals are incredibly enticing and the macabre styled introduction may put you on edge Every bit of the song is catchy and bouncy, with fluctuating rhythms that constantly catchy you off your guard in the best possible way.
The true reggae vibes appears prominently in ‘Graveyard’ which shows off a whole new side of the Popes that you may not have known could exist. The vocals are virtually unidentifiable yet still strangely interesting to listen to. These guys truly are men of many sides and they don’t stop there. There are so many influences crammed into the thirteen tracks, making it next to impossible to identify every one. Despite it being a long album with lots going on all at once, when ending track ‘Culpa’ concludes, you are still aching for more.
Once again Popes of Chillitown prove their worthiness; and I never doubted them for a second. This album is packed full of new favourite songs you were waiting for since their previous endeavour; each with their own quirk that will get you hooked within the first few seconds of the introduction. Their ability to completely surprise you at every turn and provide tune after tune is incredible and massively admirable.