SINGLE REVIEW: Elisa Dixan Sings Los Fastidios Volume 2 (Kob Records)

Los Fastidios are a long established ska/streetpunk band from Italy and Elisa Dixan is their tour manager (and co-owner of their label, Kob Records).

Since 2018 she has featured as a guest vocalist during live shows, and last December they released Elisa Dixan Sings Los Fastidios Vol. 1, which featured two previous LF releases reworked with Dixan’s vocals.

Almost a year to the date since that release comes a second EP (Volume 2) containing three more previously-released tracks with Dixan again fronting the band.

On this second EP, Dixan takes vocal control of In 1968, Skanking In The Ghetto (from the 2014 album Let’s Do It) and Reggae Rebels (from the 2009 album All Arembaggio).

Elisa Dixan with Los Fastidios.

The first thing to notice is how Dixan’s vocals completely change the sound of all three songs (when compared to Enrico) towards a crisper, more uplifting sound.

In 1968, which pays homage to UK youth culture and subcultural/racial unity during the late ’60s, is undoubtedly the standout track of the EP. With Dixan’s chants of “skinhead reggae”’, she and the band pay respect to the skinheads, rude girls, rude boys and mods who set the ball rolling all those years ago.

Related: Italian streetpunks Los Fastidios spread their anti-fascist message with a skank and a smile

What I like best about this track – apart from the obvious party atmosphere created by the ska riffs and organ sound – is the rhyming and coupling of Babylon with Harrington (jackets). Superb. (The song opens with a version of Rivers of Babylon by The Melodians which might also be Dixan’s vocals?)

Next up is Skanking In The Ghetto – a track sang mainly in Italian. But don’t let put that you off – it’s a crazy mash up of 77-punk-style female vocals backed with LF sounding like The Specials on speed!

Elisa Dixan with Los Fastidios vocalist Enrico.

As with the first track this skanking song – about the joys provided by revolutionary ska – will also get any audience bouncing (especially if played on a PA system at gigs between bands).

The final track, Reggae Rebels, is a slight change of pace, with a more afterparty chilled-out sound, and a much more reggae-influenced sound. Dixan holds her notes magnificently, showing she has a great vocal range too. It’s very different from the first two songs – but equally as good (if not better – depending on what kind of mood you are in!).

This release is available as an MP3 download and also as a 7” vinyl release. It also comes hot on the heels of the band’s recent UK visit where they played a number of gigs around the country promoting their skinhead reggae/ska sound. Hopefully this EP will capitalise on the success of that.

Elisa Dixan has been performing live with Los Fastidios since 2018. Pic: Mie Photos.