ANOTHER busy year lies ahead for Machynlleth’s super ska band Cartoon Violence showcasing their third album with another European tour, a gig supporting Bad Manners at Aberystwyth, and a a slot in an international festival celebrating the 40th anniversary of 2 Tone Records.

The new album ‘Passive Aggressive’ was launched in Machynlleth and comprises nine original tracks plus an excellent version of Paul Ayriss’ ‘Annie – You Don’t Know Me’, ending with an impressive smokey dockside Tinkerman mix of the song to end the album, writes Barry Jones.

‘Insincere’ opens it swinging straight into a hard driving ska bouncer, and ‘Serpico’ with its party atmosphere and catchy chorus; while ‘Social Animal’ is a little easier with some nice guitar; and ‘Careful’ cruises along.

Sasha Jacobs takes over vocals for another of the band’s catchiest tracks ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with its tricksy guitar ending.

Male and female vocals share ‘Amnesia’ with its unusual piano and Hammond organ runs, and the band are full-on again with ‘Black Sheep’.

‘Black Cat’ stands out as a very different vibe with solo vocals and piano by Jason ‘Chuzz’ Childs with its jolly nursery rhyme lyrics, before providing the organ sound that drives another excellent band song ‘Out With the Old’.

All the original songs are written by ‘Chuzz’ who is on vocals and keyboards, and is from Machynlleth together with Glenn ‘Harold’ Rowlands on drums and Matt Jones on bass; while Sasha ‘Sash’ Jacobs on vocal and sax, is from Llandrindod Wells, and Georgia Tranchard on guitar is from Newtown.

“We started back on 2009 and have evolved into the line up and sound that we have today. We have built a strong reputation for our live shows and have toured extensively all over Europe playing festivals such as Mighty Sounds in Czech Republic, Earth Garden in Malta, and are regulars at the Boomtown Fair in Winchester,” said ‘Chuzz’.

“Me, Harold and Matt are the Mach boys in the band and have played music together for longer than I can remember. Before Cartoon Violence the three of us were in ska punk band Three Minute Warning, Sasha playing in Newtown ska heroes Smoke Like a Fish, and Georgia joined recently and is the daughter of Tran, the founding member of Smoke Like a Fish.

“We are looking forward to another European tour in the new year to promote this third album ‘Passive Aggressive’, but at the same time after the amazing turn out for the local album launch, we are looking forward to supporting Bad Manners at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wednesday, April 3.

“We are also excited to be playing at the London International Ska Festival on April 20, which celebrates 2- Tone’ 40th anniversary.

“Due in part to The Specials releasing a new studio album, there seems to be a new energy and excitement brewing in the ska world, not that ska music has ever gone away, no matter where we play in the UK or Europe there is always a good turn out of people out to dance and have a good time and who doesn’t need that in their lives every now and then,” said Chuzz.