Jimmy the Squirrel are a five-piece band from Nottingham that are of the Ska genre and who have been around since 2005 building up a solid fan base. They have so far released one album entitled ‘Whatever the Weather’, back in 2010. The songs mainly deal with life problems that we could experience like being bankrupt, wanting to sort our lives out and love life issues.

‘Whatever The Weather’ consists of ten lively songs that stay true to the ska genre with Jamaican-like vocals from lead singer Liam O’Kane who also plays acoustic guitar, along with good friends Jody Betts on keys, Ben Farnsworth on drums, Mike Moore on Bass and Sam Wilson also on guitar.

Some standout tracks to watch out for  include ‘Bankruptman’ with its use of keys that make it really sound like a Bob Marley song with the pauses that play throughout. Other tracks that deservedly attract attention include ‘How I Go’ that talks about loving someone and wanting to spend your life with them. “And if I die before I wake/At least I know that I can take/the happiness of you lying in my arms keeping you safe” are powerful lyrics. The song also has a catchy bass riff, drum beat and soft vocals.

‘Swings and Roundabouts’ is another great song to look out for with its slow start with lovely organ and drums which then quickly progress into a fast paced beat. The song talks about being good friends with somebody and trusting them enough to believe everything they tell you. They then end up lying to you and you never believe them again. A sad but catchy number that is oh so true.

Another track worth listening to is the instrumental ‘Big Fists’ which has fast paced guitar riffs and drum beats that carry you with the song from start to finish with the never-ending rhythm. This is one that really harks back to the best of 80s ska. ‘Whatever the Weather’ has a very fresh and up to date sound and will remind listeners that were around in the 80s and before of bands such as Madness and Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Overall, this album has clever lyrics and a fresh twist on an established genre. Each member of the band is very talented with the instrument they play whether that be the guitar, bass, drums or keys. What I personally enjoyed most about ‘Whatever the Weather’ was how the band incorporates the sound of the organ into some of their songs. I think this is sadly missed in many of the contemporary artists around today and hopefully this album will lead the way in that direction.

If you are after fresh music with clever lyrics and catchy choruses then I recommend that you pick this album up today because it’ll have you coming back for seconds, thirds etc. Give a local band a chance: they are worth it and you won’t regret it.