Kickback UK play fast, fun and melodic ska-punk. The band formed in late 2006, with their first gigs being tour support to Germany's Greedy Bees on their second UK tour. Since then they've toured the UK numerous times, including an awesome tour in the Summer of 2009 with Stand Out Riot, as well as sharing stages with contemporaries such as Random Hand and The Skints.
KBUK take influence from Less Than Jake, Capdown, Lightyear, Rise Against, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Good Clean Fun, No Comply, We Are The Union, The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches. Anything that's fast and fun.
Review by Pete at Mild Peril fanzine
Kickback UK – Perservering With Positivity (Self Released)
YES! This mini-length album has Garth Marenghi quotes in it, I love it already! No, seriously this 7 track CD is really quite excellent, certainly one of the better new breed of UK ska-punk bands that have popped up over the past year or two. I think the problem with a lot of ‘ska-punk’ in the past (and the present come to mention it) is that bands try and combine elements of both styles but never quite master either of them that well, leaving you with a rather pathetic end result, neither ska, neither punk, look at bands like Uncle Brian and nothing more really needs to be said. However, I do believe a lot of these new breeds of ska-punk bands seem to have spent more time mastering both styles of music and have come up with a much punchier, melodic but still danceable style, just look at bands like The Hijacks, Joey Terrifying, Harijan, Random Hand, there are loads of them, and Kickback UK could definitely be added to that list. It has passion, melody, energy and is fun and danceable all at the same time, they are a great example of what combining ska and punk together should end up sounding like, excellent stuff, always a pleasure when you discover a new band like this. Myspace.com/thisiskickback Pete
Review by Al from Punktastic
There are interesting ways to open an album and then there are interesting ways to open an album. Alienating your band from the entire Scottish nation might be construed as a downright curious opening. Okay, so “We Are Never Going Back to Montrose” with its Garth Marenghi samples and Angus baiting probably isn’t actually going to estrange this band but what is instantly evident is that what follows is quality skacore music that pulverizes the heavy with the danceable.
Kickback UK (the UK part prevents the band from being mistaken for some other band in Addis Abada or likewise) has been around awhile but following line-up changes and the usual unsigned band rigmarole has now decided to drop ‘Persevering With Positivity’, a debut seven-tracker crammed full of jovial ska brass, heavy guitar licks and an immediacy that never goes amiss within the genre.
“Breaking and Entering” and “Don’t Call Us (We Won’t Call You Either)” both follow the ska verse, heavy breakdown, gang vocal chorus draft that belies the bands influences and roots. Closer “Risk It for a Biscuit” even includes a Guitar Hero-esque solo approach that marks the track out as that little more epic. It’s not all beefy rock though. “Foundations” and the aforementioned “…Montrose” are both tracks that have that skankable (is that even a word?) dance floor feel to them. This is fun yet intense all at once.
Perhaps the band may be overdoing it on the pop-culture sample front (there’re six instances of blurb lifted from TV and film). The original output here is strong enough to stand alone from what could be conceived as gimmick material. Saying that, anybody that pastes the “World’s Best B.A. Baracus Quote” into a song deserves super-mega-bonus points. At the end of the day it’s all in the name of fun and, as stated on “All the Wrong Reasons”, that’s exactly what being in a band should be about: fun.
File this right between The JB Conspiracy and Howards Alias, on the same shelf as Chief and Random Hand; it’s ska-punk with heavier roots sprouting out for all to hear. All in all, it’s boldly impressive.
Review by Andy from SkaMutiny.co.uk
A haunting choir followed by a snippet of social commentary kick off this debut mini-album release from Kickback UK, another inspired British ska-punk act hailing from Manchester. Put simply, it’s a winner from the start. “We Are Never Going Back To Montrose” gives us a fast-paced dose of trumpet fuelled aggression to whet our ears’ appetite with, followed by a similarly aggressive start to “All The Wrong Reasons” with just as raw and powerful a sound. The chorus, short and simple though it is, is definitely one that sticks in your head, as it did for me for most of the day the first day I heard it (thanks boys...).
The album, long delayed and shunted to the side by the bands previous other commitments and line-up changes, represents a fresh beginning for Kickback UK (formerly known simply as Kickback, until they realised some damn continentals had the name first) – while the band members are not all solely involved in this band, it has moved from being a side-project for all to having a new lease of life. In addition, with the use of studio facilities for free and a music tech background for several of the band, they were really able to take their time over the CD and get it to sound just how they wanted.
There’s clearly a wide range of influences at work on the band as you can hear from the variety of sounds they have assembled for our enjoyment. This must be due in part to all the other bands that the members have been involved in - Chief, Catch-it Kebabs, The Fractions and Stand-Out Riot to name a few. “Breaking and Entering” is definitely one to get your toes moving to at first, although being the considerate band they are it does slow down a bit later on to let you catch your breath. It is also one of the many tracks on this release with a sample quote dropped in from the world of television, in this case everyone’s favourite member of the A-team who needs no introduction. “Reality Check” flicks between a fast-paced ska chorus and a more serious punk verse, while “Foundations” seems to put the ska on the back burner for more of the track than the others – although it’s still very danceable! “Risk It For A Biscuit” closes the mini-album off with a song title that ever since hearing I’ve ended up dropping into conversation a lot more than is probably good for me, whilst the track itself appears to be an effort to show the listener just how much more the band can do with their instruments over and above that which an ordinary run-of-the-mill ska band could achieve.
Kickback UK are clearly ready to become members of that elite club of bands you always look out for on tour. Although it’s only a half hour in length, this album WILL brighten up your day. Consider it heartily recommended.
Kickback UK - Persevering with Positivity
Reviewed by Henry Raby
Where is the UK ska scene? Is it neatly folded up in the attic? Is it wheezing on a hospital bed? Is it lying, cold as the night, in a silent mausoleum? No. It’s alive and kicking (sorry, terrible pun).
Kickback UK are part of the (seemingly) overflowing Manchester ska scene that makes a poor Yorkshire ska-fan like me envious. After line-up changes, Kickback UK are set to really make a name for themselves in 2009 with this 7-track mini-album. The influences are obviously apparent, the speedy ska-rock of Streetlight Manifesto springs to mind.
Fans of Adequate Seven, Lightyear and Capdown will also click with the elements of punk and rock-with-horns fused with a driving sped-up ska tempo that Kickback UK have to offer. Each song has been constructed using rock, melodic punk and ska. No one element prevails, proving Kickback UK a talented band at combining genres but keeping the energy flowing like a river of quick-snap rage. To me, no one song really sticks out in my mind but the entire mini-album fuses and flows together where the only break in the surge is an occasional well-placed soundbite. It’s no wonder the album is titled ‘Persevering with Positivity’.
Many bands with a similar style of sound are now sadly defunct, but Kickback UK are still moving onwards with a UK sound that incorporates styles both sides of the Atlantic. Listening to the lyrical themes, the album has a strong coating of positivity. Not the upbeat positivity of a sunny Californian band or cheeky Cockney fellas, but a positivity of strength, resistance. There’s a layer of defiance against higher powers, ‘Reality Check’ slapping the listener in the face and asking them to not say “goodbye to our hopes and dreams”.
In ‘Foundations’, one of their early tunes and in no way influenced by a certain Kate Nash number, the band boldly state “I’ve chosen this life and I wouldn’t change a minute of it”. Take the album cover, a daring battle of strength: man vs. rhino. With Kickback UK’s attitude, man will always triumph for rhinos have no ska-punk bands in their ranks to encourage victory. The overall feel of the album is uplifting without being unnecessarily twee pop.
So where is the ska scene? Well, with bands like Kickback UK I suppose one could argue there is not strictly an easily-labelled ‘ska scene’ as more a collection of bands with their own well-crafted experimentations on rock, punk and ska fusions.