The South Yorkshire Octet waste no time, jumping straight into the offbeat rhythm you’re expecting. Shades of old school influence take hold as, “This Life” has a classic reggae feel. Shades of Johnny Osbourne and Jimmy Cliff resonate throughout this banging opener which is never a bad way to start.
“Never Stop” eases us in with tingly, Chilli Peppers–esq guitar tones. This is a track that really shows the group off as musicians. Each member locking in perfectly and delivering a stellar groove.
Pennies and Pounds’ overtly political message rings out as one of the strongest tracks on the release. The infections tones and powerful lyrics of “Roll up another government vision, to bring your country down to the ground…” hark back to the social commentary of The Wailers on an extremely poignant and important track.
The tones of a smoky jazz club introduce “Price We Pay” as it holds something with a totally different, yet complements the rest of the tracts. It lends itself to the rest of the songs as a refreshing addition, as the upbeat ska-like horns give us a feel of The Specials.
Overall, Steel City Rhythm provide a solid group of tunes. All well produced and obviously written by professionals. Free Love and Fighting provides something different and hugely crucial to the diversity Sheffield music scene, bravo!