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Chango Munks '(Live Session)' EP Review


1. Skamina

2. Nuclear War

3. Dice

4. Musical Intifada

So I must admit, I did some research to learn what the band’s name might mean and feel like I have a better idea how everything comes together between the lyrics and the music. This debut EP by the Edinburgh Ska/ Rock band does a nice job introducing them to the world and leaves me thinking a live show is probably the best place to truly experience them. As a disclaimer, my enjoyment of Ska is rather superficial as I have never done a deep dive into the genre, but I do have some in my collection that I really enjoy.

‘Skamina’ gets the proceedings started with a tip of the hat to Glenn Miller’s classic ‘In The Mood’ which works nicely for me. Jana’s vocals here might be my favorite by her on the album. This song is obviously designed to get people moving in the live setting. I wish the mix here elevated the vocals in the chorus a touch more, but this song makes a nice first impression and gets stronger with repeated plays of the EP. The horn work by Chris and Andrew is outstanding. ‘Nuclear War’ opens with a warning siren and finds more emphasis placed on Andy’s guitar riff to drive the song forward. This song has struggled to connect with me, but I do like the vocal interplay between Jana and Xabi (also bass).

‘Dice’ fares better with me, especially with how Xabi and Gian (drums) vary the tempo. It creates a contagious energy that gets the body moving. Last up we have the up tempo grooving ‘Musical Intifada.’ The horns create a riff that plasters itself onto the brain and Jana adds a slick vocal hook in the chorus, which explains why they have made a music video for this song. I have to add though that this song did not connect with me at first, but it now slots right behind ‘Skamina’ in order of my preference here. Similar to the opener, I wish Jana was up in the mix a little more in spots on this one as the music sometimes borders on overtaking her.

Chango Munks have made a favorable impression on me over the course of these four songs, and I am curious to hear what comes next. If you are looking for some new Ska in your life, I think the Chango Munks may be just what your musical soul ordered. I anticipate I will be mixing at least three of these songs into some of my forthcoming personal playlists for the office. Hopefully, someone can let me know what they are like live as I don’t imagine they will make it out to Texas this year. By the way, the band is offering this as a free download so there is really no excuse not to give it a try.

‘(Live Session)’ is available now -

Review - Gerald Stansbury

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