New Rumble Strips MP3: "Time"

Critical Mass

by Larry Fitzmaurice

The bright-sounding brass that kicks off Brit-rock sensations the Rumble Strips' "Time" might be discomfortingly reminiscent of the ill-fated ska movement, but don't fret: the Mighty Mighty Bosstones these guys ain't. Instead, the Strips specialize in a sound that blends together the shambolic mod sound of the Libertines with hints of soul to create a joyous racket, and "Time" is a prime example.

"There's nothing left for us / We're rotting in this place," lead singer Charlie Waller dourly notes as he launches into a not-so-typical narrative: Boy hears "bells of doom," girl doesn't. Boy assumes that she must be deaf; Boy talks to the Grim Reaper and is told to go back to bed. And just before Waller gets the chance to launch into a portentous screed, a life-affirming chorus comes to the rescue: "It's only time / Let it pass away," Waller hollers. "Time" then gallops to its conclusion with vamping sax and rumbling drums -- "Oi!" shouting, checker-boarded backup dancers need not apply. Girls and Weather is out now on Gigantic.

Now Hear This: "Time"(DOWNLOAD MP3)

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