Talisman – ‘Don’t Play With Fyah’ (Sugarshack Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nev Brooks   
Monday, 09 January 2017 03:30

talisman-dontplaywithfyahIt’s been a while since I put a reggae review together… I think its been one of those times that I needed a different vibe, mostly hardcore and punk to be honest, but as time has rolled on bands like The Popes of Chillitown, The Skints and Skaciety have begun to draw me back, and what better than a new LP from one of the best reggae bands the UK has ever produced – Talisman?


Listening to opener ‘Relijan’, it’s so easy to slip back into the easy roots reggae vibe, but as politically intolerant as its ever been for a band that started out way back in the early 80’s at a time when Thatcher had decimated not just the industries but the community spirit. Talisman have stood out with their lyrically sussed political stance and real life observations. Which leads me nicely into next up ‘Talkin’ Revolution’ strident and a different urgent feel to the opener.


Next up ‘She Look Like Reggae’ skanks out of the speakers, real dance hall style, again changing the vibe. Things drift along nicely caught up in the reggae groove with ‘Don’t Play With Fyah’ itself and ‘Hear No Evil’. Then we hit probably my fave on the LP, ‘Racism Never Sleep’: just listen to the message held within, at odds with the light touch and easy beat.


Finishing up with those strident horns introducing ‘Wheel And Come Again. Or at least part one before we get lost in the dub alternatives.


Dub is not new: it can be tracked all the way back to the mid-60s, pulling the focus away from the vocals, key words empowered and distorted, guitar, bass and drums, looped and repeated moved around the original tracks rhythm lots of the skills and techniques picked up by Trent Reznor within NIN, probably if we track backwards the starting point for industrial music.


So when you read through and think does reggae belong on a rock site? Open your ears and re-listen to some of your fave artists… see the threads? The Rolling Stones and the Clash did: both took Talisman out on tour…


  • ‘Don’t Play With Fyah’ is released on 17 March.