Tomorrow marks the release of five piece ska punk band, Codename Colin’s second EP, Outgunned. The Hertfordshire band has some serious spirit, spending the last year and a half travelling around the UK to liven up crowds, bringing the band the notoriety of fun and energetic shows. Equipped with two saxophones and the means to combine head banging with skanking, Codename Colin sits in a ska punk line up next to Less Than Jake and Goldfinger.
The band was originally formed in 2012 by frontman Charlie Gabriel and after reuniting in 2016 with a solid line up, Codename Colin already has a few hits under their belts such as ‘Agent 23’ and ‘Match Dot Com.’ The band have truly grown as a band, and this time around Codename Colin has come on in leaps and bounds. Outgunned is a real contender to place them on the throne of one of UK’s rising ska punk bands.
Outgunned is an eight track album including a cover version of ‘Just A Day’ by Welsh band, Feeder. The original in itself is a huge song known throughout the scene, but in true Codename Colin style, they’ve worked their magic to make it the ska punk version we all didn’t know we needed. It’s one thing, being able to take such a highly rated song and charmingly turning it into something else, but Codename Colin has a plethora of talents and originality bursting at the seams. Earlier this year, they released an official music video for ‘Losing Touch’ that’s frankly, one of the catchiest songs to come out of 2017. Not only is it a wet dream for the ska punks of this generation, but the music video in itself is a throwback to some of the most iconic fashion trends that every early 2000’s punks indulged in and almost immediately influencing you to break out the checked Vans with a shirt, tie and waistcoat.
One of the biggest appeals to Codename Colin’s Outgunned is the first track, ‘New Year’s Resolution.’ Armed with an alto and tenor sax, the fierce sound they supply really supports the pumped up attitude that Codename Colin possess. ‘Friday 19th’ is another example of their spirit, with quick instrumental verses complemented by the sound of sax’s doing what they do best. The entire album is compiled of anthem-like songs to get you pumped. If your library includes the likes of Reel Big Fish or Less Than Jake, this band is definitely for you.
Codename Colin has a multitude of avenues that they explore though, with ‘Pulling Teeth’ really taking on a reggae-like tone. A lot of the attitude of the album comes from the lead vocalist, who gives the songs that extra oompf with charmingly hoarse vocals, and showing off what the British have to offer the ska punk scene. The fifth track, ‘Declan’ really puts the focus on the other instruments, showing the effect that the bass does have on the music. It’s a short song, but the amplified sound of the drums and bass gives the listener a chance to experience the other side of the music, and overall, ‘Declan’ is musical proof that Codename Colin can explore their music in many of ways. But, they’ve truly mastered the arts of ska punk, and since their earlier releases, they’ve shown that the more that they make music, the more they continue to grow into something special. ‘Putting Up Walls’ is a personal favourite from Outgunned with it almost feeling like the kind of songs you’d listen to while in a warm villa somewhere off the coast of Cala Pi, as you look over to the sun-kissed beaches and perfectly blue ocean stretching for miles in front of you. With it coming up to winter now, I’m sure Codename Colin can send you into a nostalgia frenzy as you reminisce about the freedom of summer, and warm your heart in front of the fire.