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'Room For Abuse' is the super second album from the UK ska punk band that is [spunge]. Containing covers of Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry'and Sublime's 'Santeria' as well as fourteen original songs; 'Room For Abuse' is a pretty decent album and perhaps the best that [spunge] has ever released as a band. 'Room For Abuse' was released one year after the bands debut record 'Pedigree Chump', it came out in October 2000 and always the energy levels are kept extremely high here. Some funky bass lines are implemented into the bands sound, excellent use is also made of the drums and always the guitar riffs are strong here. Lyrically the tracks on this album are all incredibly catchy, whilst listening to this album you'll find yourself singing along many a time and never does the [spunge] sound disappoint.
'Live Another Day' provides the album with a great opening track, right from the offset the sound is strong here and the music has much to offer. It's an incredibly upbeat little number, something that is in fact true of every single track on this album. As the album continues the band impresses further; second track 'Get Along' is equally as excellent as the first and third track 'Break Up' also is a powerful piece of music. There's a terrific ska vibe about the sound created here, never is a horn section used but a terrific ska flavour has still here managed to have been captured. It's an excellent sound to hear, the music is full of fun and energy also; [spunge] is not the best ska punk band there has ever been but the music is still extremely enjoyable to listen to, something that does in fact make this one of my favourite albums of the genre.
With the Bob Marley cover the basic backbone of the track is kept, a few changes are however made and the band makes clear its intentions at the start of the track by stating 'we decided it was much too slow, so we've gone and upped the tempo'. It's a great fun cover track, the lyrics of the verse are different but the excellent Bob Marley chorus has been kept and the band does I feel make a good job of this cover track. It's the fourth track on the album, the band gets the cover out of the way early on here and a fun four minutes of music it is too. This whole album is all about letting you hair down and having some fun, the music is not too serious and that's just the way that I like it.
Fifth track 'All Gone Wrong' is another impressive effort, the music is kept simple and this is something that works out strongly for [spunge] here. It's a great song to sing along to, there's a great upbeat energy about the music and in the chorus the instrumental side of things really bursts into action here. There is a powerful guitar riff which drives through the chorus, the vocals also are sung with greater intent and everything about the sound created here is absolutely excellent. The drum beats are very well constructed in the sound here, instrumentally the track is extremely hard hitting and the vocals also are spat out strongly.
'Wake Up Call' possesses excellent lyrics I can really relate two; here the band discusses its hatred for mornings, how two or three coffees are required before it's safe to approach. I'm the same with my tea, an absolute nightmare in the morning before I've had my first few brews and always the lyrics used here make me smile. The track comes seventh on this 'Room For Abuse' album, it works well right as the centrepiece of the release and effective use of alarm sounds are made here which really adds to the effectiveness of the music. It's a fun piece of music, the lyrics aren't to be taken too seriously but the track makes me laugh anyway and I know exactly where the band is coming from in this one.
'Ego' is without doubt my favourite track from this album, it was re-recorded for inclusion on the bands third album 'The Story So Far' and what an excellent piece of music it is too. The lyrics are excellent, instrumentally the music is supremely powerful and never is there a dull moment here. Always the sound of [spunge] has much to offer, the chorus is incredibly catchy and the track progresses incredibly well also. The band here talks of life on the road and missing family members, ultimately however the bands singer Alex Copeland sings out loud and proud how he gets to tour the country with four of his best friends in the world in the form of his fellow [spunge] band mates. It's a great track and you get a real sense of the closeness of the band as a unit in this one, this is five individuals making ska punk out of a love for the sound and a supreme fondness for touring; this is a band that is together for all the right reasons. It's the tenth track on the album and with six tracks left to come on the release the band still has much more to offer here.
Following on directly from 'Ego' is 'Second Rate', a track that features the dual vocal performance of Alex Copeland and Laila Khan also. At the time Laila Khan was the front woman of a band called 'Grimace', she is now the singer for Sonic Boom Six however; another excellent band and the dual vocal approach taken here is certainly one that works extremely well. Alex speaks a vocal verse here and Laila returns with a response before the pair of them launch into the chorus together; it's a great track and another of my favourites from this album, it is I feel one of the best tracks that [spunge] has ever written as a band. As ever the music is extremely upbeat here, the vibe created is incredibly positive and the musical sound constructed here is always supremely strong.
As if two exceptional tracks in a row hadn't been enough the band then follows with a third; 'Nothing To Hide' comes straight after 'Second Rate' and once more the music is supremely impressive here. The lyrics are excellent, the instrumental side of things also is strong and always this track has much to offer to the listener. It's an excellent piece of ska punk, the guitar up strokes work well here and the vibe created is supremely soothing and fantastically chilled out. 'Nothing To Hide' is an incredibly relaxing piece of music, a finely constructed four minutes of sound and a track that I personally am massively fond of.
Penultimate track 'Santeria' really fits well with the overall vibe that has been created here with this album, it's a Sublime cover but if you didn't know that it could easily be mistaken as an original [spunge] track. The music is well put across here, it's not one of the best tracks on the album but still quite a decent one and a well performed cover track from the band. Title track 'Room For Abuse' then closes the album; an ode to the fans and thank you to everyone that has ever attended a [spunge] show in the past. This provides the album with a fantastic finish, in between the thank you's the band also shows a vocal middle finger to all the bands haters and this is something that is extremely amusing to hear. This track works excellently I feel, it sits nicely at the end of the album and the band really puts its messages across well here.
'Room For Abuse' is an absolutely excellent album from [spunge], from start to finish here the sound created is strong and never does the music fail to impress. This is a truly fantastic ska punk album, you'll find few in the genre greater than this and over the years I have listened to 'Room For Abuse' on many an occasion. I remember when I first bought this album, I played it on constant repeat for a week and didn't actually listen to anything else whatsoever. This album spent many months on constant rotation in my CD player, I couldn't get enough of these sixteen tracks and even now I choose to listen to 'Room For Abuse' a lot. As much as I love the bands first album 'Pedigree Chump'; it is this album that I have listened to the most over the years and never do I tire of hearing such [spunge] classics as 'Ego', 'Second Rate', and 'Wake Up Call' also. There are so many highlights to recall from this 'Room For Abuse' album, it's a great collection of tracks and [spunge] here created an absolutely phenomenal ska punk album. If you like your ska punk then you should definitely give 'Room For Abuse' a listen; you'll surely not be disappointed with what you hear here.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Live Another Day
2 Get Along
3 Break Up
4 No Woman No Cry
5 All Gone Wrong
7 Wake Up Call
8 Disco Kid
9 All She Ever Wants
11 Second Rate
12 Nothing To Hide
13 Go Away
16 Room For Abuse