After a seven year gap from the Mad Caddies’ last album, 2014 marks the return of the Californian Septep. And a triumphant one at that. Dirty Rice is the sixth full-length album from the Mad Caddies, to be released under Fat Wreck Chords on April 13.
The opening track, ‘Brand New Scar,’ was the first, and so far only track to be released from the album, and is a welcoming return to that Caddie’s sound we have deeply missed. It starts with the old-time piano intro and a lovely crescendo, leading into the band joining in at full-swing. With the extremely upbeat and catchy rhythm, it is just what you would expect from their return.
Track two is ‘Love Myself,’ which branches away from the tone of the first track with a much more punk sound, which is no doubt going to be a blast to dance to at live shows. Songs like ‘Airplane’ bring the tone back down to a more classically third-wave ska sound, and ‘Shoot Out the Lights’ has a very heavily reggae influenced tone.
The track ‘Little Town’ also has a heavy reggae influence, but with a more modernised sound which resembles very early ska, featuring a fast tempo and solid upbeat tone combined with the muffled horns. The album ends with the very fitting acoustic track ‘Drinking the Night Away,’ which keeps the upstroke guitars and quiet drums in the background, as well as the group vocals. Bringing the record to a close in an equally fitting way as ‘Brand New Scar’ began it. But I can tell you, I’m sure it won’t be long before you give the album another couple of listens.
This more ska and reggae tone follows mainly through the second half of the album, with the heavier, more punk-focused songs appearing earlier on the album, but the whole album features a solid variety of different forms of ska and reggae which keep it feeling constantly fresh, and is more than enough to slap a giant grin on your face while feeling the need to dance. It may have been a seven year wait, but this record was well worth it, being one of the Caddies’ finest. Prepare to have a new favourite album of 2014.