The Australian Ska Collective single review by Vince Leigh
The new track for Canberra outfit The Australian Ska Collective is an unashamedly direct and honest appeal to the less forgiving side of our nature.
A song revolving around the importance and necessity for inclusivity is always welcome, if not necessary. What sets Equality St. apart from other tracks with more cloaked appeals, aside from its unpretentiously irresistible ska-reggae charm, is its lyric approach, which merges a more traditional melodic style.
To whit, the introductory verses utilise low-riding vocal registers with rap, a structure that works to solidify and reinforce the overriding schema: a universal human right, the embrace and acceptance of all, irrespective of gender, race, disability, ethnicity etc.
Equality St. brings such considerations to the table, echoing off the rhythmically tenacious foundation and becoming almost joyful in its style of discourse, yet appropriating memorable sound bites such as ‘I want you to be where you’re properly free’ or ‘as long as you got a heart.’
A Reverberant Tool
The dynamic embedded into the rap segment of the track reflects the very idea explored here; a global cultural acceptance and merging that has developed and evolved as a stunning force of music power. And, as Equality St. reveals, a reverberant tool for exposing societal ills.
The track’s minimalist production allows for the robust declarations, and remains faithful to the genre. It aligns itself—by using space, carefully interjected textures, and clean, close-sounding drums—to the cause, giving the impression of unity and cohesion.
Again, concepts that are at the very heart of this song. Equality St.’s sly sense of joviality reels us in. Its unfolding supplications confront us (or not). And that juxtaposition makes this a valuable, persuasive artistic document. And a congenial, enjoyable one.
As David Hine, the brainchild behind The Australian Ska Collective, says:
“It’s part of a campaign I’ve initiated to promote Canberra as an inclusive and equality community and tourist destination.”