Sheffield’s ska scene is on the rise, according to the city’s most followed ska bands.
Smiling Ivy has been playing a fusion of reggae, ska and punk for ten years and now the band is celebrating the release of its latest album, Quick Sin Jukebox.
Recorded at 2Fly Studios with Alan Smyth, the album is a beat-laden tour de force of hard drums, brass and thick riffs. Lyrically it takes on all manner of social observations, as guitarist Dan Dormer explains. “It’s a full length album and it’s got eleven tracks on it, each covering a different lyrical theme.”
One of the songs is about the absurdity of reality TV, as Dormer explains. “The song’s called Let Loose and it’s about reality TV and the fact we have loads of celebrities that are famous for doing nothing apart from being celebrities. We all hate that.”
Other songs take on a fictional note. “There’s a track that tells a story about a good girl who goes to university and gets really good grades but she loves a party. One day she goes to a warehouse party and meets this rough-and-tumble sort of man who deals in drugs and it all goes wrong.”
Musically the band fuse reggae, ska and punk. “The ska scene is really big at the moment. In Europe it’s really big and here in Sheffield it’s growing too. There are some brilliant ska bands in the city, such as the Mango Rescue Team and The Drop.”
“The album’s quite funky though because our bass player as really into writing funky bass lines. I’m more into punk and ska and the drummer’s really into the rock, so the drums are quite heavy in our band and the singer’s into reggae. It’s a real mix.”
The album will be available as a hard copy at gigs and as a free stream at https://soundcloud.com/smiling-ivy.