HIGH-energy skanksters The Embezzlers have built one hell of a following around the South West over the past few years, their live set largely built on the currently popular ska-2Tone-reggae crossover but with a crucial difference.
While most are happy to trot out the obvious hits of the 70s-80s, The Bezzlers add their own vital ingredient — original material. Think The Specials, think The Selector, add some tremendous spirit-raising pop and you’re almost there.
Debut six-track CD The Catcherman boasts stomps and tunes aplenty, with originals sitting alongside a version of The Stones’ Paint It Black that contains enough twists and turns to enable it to comfortably shift genres.
The Catcherman is the most mature piece of songwriting here from a band whose members have cut their teeth in some of Exeter’s finest bands over the decades. It wasn’t my favourite at first, but I was told it’s a grower and it definitely is.
Liberty is a foot-tapper that will warm you up for the incredible singalong that is Kathmandu; a stonkin’ tune that stirs an informed pop sensibility into the mix, and seasons with a non-typical lyrical twist to create the most commercial recipe here.
The Deal continues in similar vein and Gratitude leads perfectly into Paint It Black.
Strong lyrics and vocals from Murph, some great trombone and keys from Luko, similarly with the sax from Grimbo, genuine energy in the drumming from Daz, and guitar and bass from Nige and JP that sweep these songs — recorded and mixed with intelligence and sensitivity by Jolyon Holroyd at his Valvetastic Studios in the city — along, make for a great listen.
You can buy this — alongside other items! — for £10 at www.the-embezzlers.co.uk and it’s also on Spotify.