Review: Will Tun And The Wasters/MC Amalgam – Unite and Charge

Will Tun And The Wasters, that folk punk lot from Reading, have decided to do something that is wholly different. A complete departure from their outstanding Time Is A Bastard EP, the band have gone down the route of reggae-ska-hiphop with French MC Amalgam along for the ride. It’s disorienting, completely off the wall and pretty much totally unexpected. But it’s so damn good.

There’s still plenty of accordion embedded throughout, but now, it’s tangled up in tasty beats and full on rapping. Opener ‘Raggamuffin MC’ is wonderfully catchy, self-deprecating and completely charming. Even as MC Amalgam comes in swinging with a totally different language, it still feels stupidly fun and blends in perfectly – and watch out for that ska breakdown towards the end! ‘Red Is Not Dead’ starts off as a faced paced ska jam with some sweet folky picking and wonderfully Parisian feeling accordion. After the fun-filled ‘Ragamuffin MC’, it shows that the boys are still as politically driven as ever and is guaranteed to get you moving. ‘Slice Slice Slice’ is a bouncing trip-hop inspired affair with some banging references to sandwiches and cheese. It’s utterly mental, but lacks no attention to detail. It also marks the last of the new material for the EP, as the rest is filled with remixes of both old tracks, like ‘Community’, the first Wasters song to feature MC Amalgam, and of ‘Raggamuffin MC’ and ‘Red Is Not Dead’. The ‘Community’ remix, courtesy of Cryzo-P, stands out amongst the rest. A little bit dubsteppy, a little bit 8-bit and with some brilliant Autotune to boot, it’s a completely fresh take onto the otherwise punk-as-fuck anthem.

However, there’s just too many remixes, and although they’re all fun in their own right (the Slamboree remix of ‘Raggamuffin MC’ feels like it could be in LittleBigPlanet), you do feel a little overwhelmed by the end of it, especially with two mixes of Red Is Not Dead right next to each other. Nevertheless, the new tracks are so fantastic that you’ll barely notice. You can always count on the Wasters to do something completely off the wall, and this time, they’ve certainly delivered.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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