Essential 2nd wave ska reissued! The sound of Clement Dodd’s Studio One and Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle resonated strongly in a country full of first-generation British-born Jamaicans in Margaret Thatcher’s economically-stagnant England, yielding second-wave ska flag-bearers The Specials and a legion of similar bands in their wake, including Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers. The Selecter, however, hold the distinction of being the only band other than The Specials to release an album on Two-Tone Records; the rest were relegated to singles or compilation appearances before growing frustrated and seeking deals elsewhere. Too Much Pressure takes several cues from The Specials’ debut; in addition to the signature 2-Tone monochromatic artwork, the band - led by singer Pauline Black and guitarist Neol Davies - ponder working class dread (“Three Minute Hero,” “Time Hard,” “Too Much Pressure”) and ordinary teen stuff (“On My Radio,” “Missing Words,” “My Collie”) with a handful of deep ska cuts (The Pioneers’ “Time Hard”, Owen & Leon Silvera’s “Murder,” Justin Hinds’ “Carry Go Bring Home”) and the James Bond theme tacked on for good measure. You gotta love the straightforward, unambiguous quality of these songs (“My Collie” is not about a dog!!). 40th anniversary remastered edition on 180g wax with bonus 7-inch.
reviewed by ghost town dj 02/2018