A politically charged new band have released their third album and announced tour dates for this year and next.

The Watford based four-piece The Spitfires consist of songwriter Billy Sullivan on lead vocals and guitar, Sam Long on bass and backing vocals, Matt Johnson on drums and George Moorhouse on keyboards.

Taking in a wide range of influences, from reggae and ska through to punk and soul, this melting-pot of musical genres has helped infuse and consolidate the band’s own highly authentic sound and style into a progressive take for a new generation of fans.

The band have now announced their third album, Year Zero, to be released through Hatch Records on July 27 and will be embarking on a UK and Ireland tour in 2018 to 2019.

“I think Year Zero is our most confident and complete work to date,” explains front man Billy Sullivan of the new material. “I feel like we captured exactly what we were looking for in terms of the sound, and lyrically I think it sums up the overall feeling of where we are today and the uncertainty of our generation’s future. Over a year in the making and with the addition of trombone and a guest female singer, I feel really we’ve been able to reach new heights on this record.”

Clearly focused on transcending the trite revivalist comparisons which the band have previously been subjected to by mainstream media, the new album finds Sullivan in outspoken and often emphatic form as he addresses the degradation of working class culture more openly than ever before, perhaps most notably on album opener Remain The Same as he drawls: “I used to go into the town, but all the pubs have closed down … sometimes I feel like giving in, ‘cos I ain’t earning anything … don’t you ever apologise for being young and speaking your mind.”

On the new release Sullivan’s song writing sees him exploring new soundscapes and styles whilst still retaining his deep love for ska, soul and guitar-driven music. Whether it’s on the unexpected dub cut of Something Worth Fighting For or the piano-led ballad of By My Side (sung with guest vocalist Emily Capell) it’s clear that The Spitfires won’t be told what they can and can’t do.

With their on-going battle for recognition as a “loud, proud working-class voice”, it seems as if the band have successfully emerged as a politically-charged, grass-roots movement that won’t wait for permission to take their music, and their message, across the country and into the heartlands of the crumbling towns and inner-city communities that their music is built from.

To date, The Spitfires have released two albums; Response was released in 2015 and A Thousand Times in 2016. Both albums peaked at Number 6 in the Independent charts and also dented the national Top 75. The Spitfires also hit Number 1 in the UK Vinyl Singles Chart with So Long back in April 2016.

As well as supporting the likes of The Specials, Paul Weller and The Skids, the band have also played to vast audiences at The Isle of Wight, Reading and Y Not Festivals over the last couple of summers. The Spitfires also recently made their national TV debut on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, waking up Sunday morning viewers with a blistering version of ‘Stand Down’.

See tour dates at thespitfires.org