They say charity begins at home, and it doesn’t get much closer to home than this. Let me explain and provide some context. Luke from Call Me Malcolm’s father-in-law recently died from Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer, of which just 5% of sufferers live beyond 12 months. Only one small UK charity, AMMF, raises money for this form of cancer so he came up with the brilliantly crazy idea of writing, recording and releasing a three track EP in just 24 hours with all proceeds from it going to AMMF.
Featuring a who’s who of the UK’s up-and-coming ska bands we have members of the Bar Stool Preachers, Millie Manders, Call Me Malcom, Skaciety, Popes Of Chillitown and Battleska Galactica lending their collective talents. Obviously, seeing all these names you’d think you’d be getting a full on ska/skank assault but perhaps echoing the seriousness of the cause, what they deliver is a gritty, raw, emotive blend of punk.
Kicking off the EP is title track Why We Fight which comes out the gate at breakneck speed and doesn’t let up once. It’s perhaps the most emotional song on the EP as it directly addresses the inspiration behind this project. The ‘fight’ is open to interpretation so you don’t have to have had cancer affect you or loved ones, your fight can be against anything and that’s what’s so unifying about this song. The up-tempo riffs and memorable vocals will have you fist pumping along well before the end.
With T.J (Bar Stool Preachers) and Millie Manders sharing vocal duties across all tracks there’s a great balance and on Stand it’s Millie’s vocals that add a raw, gutsy feel to proceedings. The song follows a similar template to Why We Fight, but with added swagger as they sing about standing up to adversity.
Final track, Riot, reminded me a little of NOFX in the way it started: bubble-gum punk but with a streetwise attitude that made me sit up and take notice immediately. The crunchy guitars in the middle will satisfy the headbangers but it’s the vocal call to arms of “1-2-3-4, count us in the riot” that build and then fade out which will stick in your head long after you’ve finished listening.
The themes across these tracks are of hope, unity and belief, which resonate through all of us and the band have done an incredible job in making you believe in their powerful message. If they can do this in just 24 hours, just imagine what they could do given a bit more time.
As if the above undertaking wasn’t difficult enough the 24 Hour Punks have set-up a charity gig, with profits going to AMMF, on the 9th September at the New Cross Inn, where they will perform a 45-minute set of material that will be written and rehearsed in the preceding 24 hours.
The EP can be downloaded here.
There is also a JustGiving page for donations here.