Popular 9 piece First Degree Burns have spent over ten years perfecting their craft, and have grown to be one of the most popular festival bands of recent times through their unique, energetic, genre merging bravado and epic sound.
The dynamic mixture of bold brassy tones, euphoric keys, rock tinged guitar, sultry clarinet & big bass sit as a landscape for a rich duality of vocal chemistry, incorporating the more melodic sides of reggae toasting all the way to balls out conscious rap. Disdain for convention and genre pigeon holes has led the collective to coin the term 'Skip Hop', acknowledging its hip hop aesthetic, whilst incorporating everything from punk, reggae, ska, skiffle & oompa to teetering close to regions of drum and bass and bass music in general. It is an intoxicating blend of festival styles that has catapulted FDB toward a reputation as one of the UK's finest and liveliest acts.
Since 2005 EP 'Unconceivable', FDB have toured through out the UK & Europe, from huge festivals to town house showcases. Irrespective of their DIY aesthetic, they garner a plethora of industry recognition and endorsement, from receiving national airplay, having music featured on a national T-Mobile advertisement, and globally distributed video releases with several notable surf brands. Subsequent projects - 2008's 'First and Foremost' double LP and 2010's 'This is Skip Hop' - further ratified their status, with popular singalong 'Who Dem Guys' becoming a cult hit.
2013 sees the boys ready new EP 'Reason'. Influenced by what can only be described as a hard time for the group, it addresses the roller coaster nature of friendship, the toils of life on the road, the strains of relationships & loss. This more mature tone is still handled with their usual energy and aplomb however, meaning repeat listenings are required to truly touch on the various textures and nuance displayed within.
Opener 'The Vibe' sees massive voiced soul songstress - Dub Mafia's front lady Eva Lazarus join the lads for a stomping, bass heavy look at the lures of intoxication and its illustrious draw upon society. Representing the duality of the enjoyment of escape with the obvious repercussions, it serves as three separate tales of inebriation drawn together in synchronicity, in turn reflecting upon its place in modern Britain.
Follow up 'BOB' takes a shot at judgement. Invoking questions of racism, nationalism, stereotypes and the propensity of Jeremy Kyle style moral barometers in the social sphere. Da Herbalis paints a picture of a modern chat show host who deflects any judgement about himself onto others, whilst Specialized questions the scenarios that create modern jingoism and tribalism, wondering if they are traits we should really be proud of at all, atop a jaunty reggae rhythm.
'Bright Eyes' is an old fashioned fairytale depicting the modern relationship. As with the classic fairytale, there is a darker element, depicting the sometimes uncomfortable realisation that you are sharing your every waking moment and desire with someone else and hoping they feel the same. Encompassing feelings of despair, dependance and overwhelming love in the same space, it ends with a rousing march of brass and dub.
'Represent' evokes the sound of past EP 'Unconceivable' with lush synthetic strings and voice, vocal sample and smokey wind section. Suddenly, bass and thumping percussion hit and distorted guitar jumps the song into knees up Ska. Da Herbalis and Specialized poke fun at modern electronic music convention and the draw of the bandwagon before the extended and frankly epic instrumental outro.
EP finale 'Reason' is a fitting tribute to good friend of the band, Ruan Bennett. Raw, stripped back and honest, it handles the loss of a respected and admired individual, and having to create a reason for moving forward in the face of adversity. Treading a fine line between melancholy and jovial, it details both the agony and life affirming qualities of the taboo subject of death.
released March 8, 2013
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