Not all music needs to push forward and storm the barricades; some is content to celebrate a past time, place or attitude. Reginald Road do just that. It’s 1977, punk is reaching escape velocity from its inner city breeding ground but with no permitted platform available punks are taking refuge in reggae clubs and street parties and two outsider movements are having a massive influence on each other. Reggie Riot could easily have been born of that culture clash.
Eight songs that blend perky Buzzcocks-esque pop-punk, Clash style poignancy with ska and reggae vibes, the result, to quote his Bobness (Marley not Zimmerman) is a choice serving of roots rock reggae. One axis of the album is defined at one end by the aptly named Sugar Rush, a surge of driving saccharine ska-pop, the other by Fly’s rolling, laid back reggae groove. At right angles to this is a line which links Fragments, a song whose punk credentials Mick Jones would be proud of and the slow burning and timeless social commentary of 3 Pigs.
Lets make it clear though, this is no pastiche or overblown “ska-punk” bandwagon, not for them the predilection of backwards baseball caps and knee length shorts. It may be casting a look over its shoulders for references but the result is celebratory and reverential rather than plundered for commercial gain. If you want a snapshot of the sound of the underground in the year when “two sevens clashed” then this album is as good a starting point as any.