The Beat feat. Rank­ing Roger

★★★ Pub­lic Con­fi­den­tial DMF. CD/LP

Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums - Ian Har­ri­son

Vet­eran Brum-ska fac­tion keep on jump­ing.

Three ver­sions of The Beat are cur­rently ac­tive – ex­drum­mer Everett Mor­ton’s Beat Goes Bang, found­ing co-front­man Dave Wake­l­ing’s Cal­i­for­nia group, and the long-last­ing for­ma­tion led by MC and vibesman Rank­ing Roger. Pub­lic Con­fi­den­tial sets out a con­vinc­ing claim to cus­tody of the sound first laid down on 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, lov­ingly re­cap­tur­ing fa­mil­iar rhyth­mic ac­cents, tense basslines and the lilt­ing sax­o­phone of late group elder Saxa on the Best Friend-like, nostal­gic-for-2 Tone A Good Day For Sun­shine, and gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance warn­ing Ma­niac, which re­calls the cold sweat para­noia of Mir­ror In The Bath­room. XL-Fred Perry shirt rude boys are well served by these songs, and oth­ers – see mock­ing anti-vi­o­lence dub Dan­ger­ous, which draws on 1981’s Wha’ppen? – though the sus­pi­cion re­mains that, with the best songs off Wake­l­ing’s melody-at­tuned Here We Go Love from last May, this might have been the best Beat al­bum for 36 years.

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