In a genre cluttered with similar-sounding bands, it can be hard to stand out on your own. It really takes a special band to have that certain ‘something’ and stand out from your peers.

The genre in question is reggae/funk, and Wait for Green is that band with ‘something’.

Originally from Florida and now centralized in Venice, Wait for Green hit up the Roxy on Sunset on Saturday night. I made sure to go and witness my first WFG show.

The most impressive aspect of the band (comprised of Drew Dockerill on guitars/vocals, Rafael Britto on lead guitar, AJ Larson on bass and Danny Morledge on drums) is the thickness of their live sound. They played to a sparse crowd, but didn’t let that slow them down one bit. Even after some technical difficulties, which forced Dockerill to give up his guitar to Britto and perform the rest of the set without his instrument, they jammed through their roughly 30-minute set with determination.

Watching them play, I realized what it is about them that makes them stand out in my mind from the contemporary reggae/dub bands such as Rebelution, Iration, Passafire, The Dirty Heads and The Expendables, to name a few: Wait for Green aren’t afraid to jam out their songs into space-y dub, as evidenced on songs like How Far I’ve Come. When they do, it’s pretty mesmerizing.

Another thing that appealed to me was AJ Larson’s onstage bass work. Not only was he using a Warwick bass, the chosen model of 311 bassist extraordinaire Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, but he even moved around onstage with a similar energy to that of the Nut himself. It led me to believe that Larson and the band are fans of 311, which scores them immediate points in my book.

Besides the personal bias, Wait for Green’s songs are just really well done. Day One stands out among the rest, probably why it is going to be in an episode of the NBC show “Chase” tonight (I think that’s what Dockerill said at the show). They have an easygoing vibe that is somewhat more substantive than some other bands of this genre, lyrically and musically. The guitar work by Britton and Dockerill play off each other very well, creating a thick, layered guitar melody in nearly every song.

They played a lot of brand new songs at the show, songs off of an upcoming album, which they are currently recording.

I could easily see this band catch on with Law Records and get on tours with some of the aforementioned bands. Wait for Green definitely deserve as much attention, if not more, than others that are currently packing mid-sized concert halls from coast to coast. They do the “reggae vibes” thing that so many other bands do, but with greater precision and a maturity seemingly beyond their years.

They’re playing the Viper Room on March 13, so if any of this sounds like your thing, make sure you check out the gig and see how good Wait for Green are.

Here's a video of How Far I've come from one of their previous Roxy gigs:

Hermosa Beach’s own Tomorrows Bad Seeds released their second album, Sacred for Sale, last week. Besides the sweet artwork on the cover, the disc is a big step up from their debut album Early Prayers, and another great addition to the reggae/rock pantheon of bands that keep outdoing each other. Coming out after great new albums by The Expendables, Iration, Passafire, and Rebelution’s 2009 record Bright Side of Life, Sacred for Sale finds TBS (no, not Taking Back Sunday) primed to become one of the genre’s major players.

Reflect kicks things off with a pounding guitar riff and drum beat, all of which sound crisper than they did on the first record. TBS have really improved as musicians this time around, and have expanded their sound to cover a variety of different styles of music.

Lead singer Moises Juarez delivers Reflect’s lyrics with determination, crying out to those of us who take life for granted and don’t appreciate what we have, choosing instead to think we’re indestructible by using booze and drugs. Focus on the present or tomorrow could be taken away, he says. How true.

Ill Repute starts out quietly, building to a juicy, rich guitar-driven melody, courtesy of guitarists Mathew McEwan and Sean Chapman. Juarez sings this time of worldly issues, such as the war for oil and how we’re “tired of waiting” for peace and justice. Reflect and Ill Repute form a powerful 1-2 punch to start off the album.

Uplift is next, and it’s probably my favorite song on the record. It has an irresistible vibe, led by more lush guitar melodies and some great vocals by Moises. It fits very nicely with the island vibes of a band like Iration, and especially on a playlist designed for maximum relaxation.

Not to be left out, I should note that drummer Pat Salmon and bassist Andre Davis do their jobs with great precision, providing the beat and rhythm upon which TBS layers delicious guitars and Juarez’s vocals very efficiently. They run a tight musical ship, these guys.

Slow Down changes things up a bit, as it’s a more energetic punk-inspired surf-rock party type song, complete with ska guitars. All it’s missing is a horn section. This is the song off of Sacred for Sale that I routinely have stuck in my head, specifically the chorus of you should know me better than thaaaaat. I like that TBS tried something a bit different than the standard reggae jams, as this song works very well, making it one of my faves from the album.

Only for You re-visits the easy vibes, sounding oddly familiar in the process. It’s another guitar-driven piece, just with a less excitable vibe than Slow Down. Another notable track.

Further starts out almost Led Zeppelin-ish with acoustic guitars, before moving into yet more uncharted territory for TBS. It has an almost old school throwback doo-wop feel to it, thanks to the beat and Juarez’s vocals. It threw me off a bit at first, but is a great exercise in the band’s newfound depth.

Tell Me Why and It Had to Be keep up the energy, with the latter another chance for TBS to branch out, reaching the same type of feel that Slow Down had, but with Juarez’s vocals on overtime duty. It’s another demonstration of the band’s ability to branch out to different styles that is a main characteristic of Sacred for Sale.

Sacred for Resale is a punked-up version of the disc’s title track, an interesting and worthwhile decision by the band. It acts like an “alternate version”, which I assume was probably the intention.

Creation has a vocal hook of whoooa toward the middle part that explodes into a more lively, bouncy second half that makes it another of my highlights.

Memories closes out the album as a straightforward piano-driven ballad, not something I was expecting from TBS. It’s decidedly more low-key than the rest of the tunes, but it’s a good way to end the record.

As I’ve said over and over, Sacred for Sale finds Tomorrows Bad Seeds really expanding their sound in a great way. Early Prayers was good, but it was more genre-specific than its follow-up, an album with a lot of variety that is evident in the songs I’ve mentioned.

TBS has really made a name for themselves with Sacred for Sale, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find them toward the top of this genre of music in the months to come.

Their CD Release show/party is tomorrow night (June 5) at the Roxy on Sunset…be there or be lame.

It’s been a great year for reggae rock. Excellent new albums by Passafire, Iration, and Rebelution, as well as the sudden new success of the Dirty Heads have proved that the genre is going strong. Eager to leave their mark on things, The Expendables, the reggae/rock/surf/fun band out of Santa Cruz, released their fifth album, Prove It, this week. I’ve been a fan of the band for a while, as their eclectic brand of reggae music with tinges of hard rock and metal is a lot of fun, as are their live shows.

Prove It, released on Slightly Stoopid’s appropriately named label Stoopid Records, is, dare I say it, the band’s most cohesive album to date. I hate phrases like “the band really matured on this record” but that’s honestly what they’ve done with the new album.

When I first heard Prove It’s opening track, How Many Times, I was confused. Lead singer/guitarist Geoff Weers has always had a unique vocal style, a bit quirky and different but one that suits the music very well. I’ve gotten used to his voice, and expect it to sound a certain way. The opening track almost sounded at first that someone else was singing, as Weers' voice is in a lower register and delivered in a different manner than he usually sings. I was surprised, and hoped that this wouldn’t be the way the rest of the album sounded.

The next track, Get What I Need, assuaged any concerns I had, as it has all the best elements of a great Expendables song – summery reggae beat, Weers’ voice as I’m used to hearing it, and noodly guitars courtesy of axeman Raul Bianchi. It’s a laid back tune with echo-y vocals and a dancehall-ish percussive tone during part of the verse, which is great.

Of course, every Expendables album needs a song about a certain leafy green substance, and this time around that song is Come Get High. The new song isn’t as one-dimensional as Bowl for Two (from Getting’ Filthy), instead being a bit more substantive, with upbeat lyrics and a nice mix of laid back grooves and hard driving guitar riffs.

Trying to Focus is an impressive mix of chugging guitar chords and rich melodies, set to a hard driving beat, with Weers singing about being “run over by the hangover truck”. There’s a sick dual guitar shredfest toward the end, before slowing things down to a more reggae-ish outro. Niiiiice.

Night Mission is another exercise in aggressive guitars, morphing into a mosh-friendly brofest about halfway through. The song’s in-your-face energy is one of the album’s strongest moments.

The best part of Prove It is the album's middle sequence. Brother’s slick, mesmerizing rhythm and thick, delicious melody make it easily one of my favorite songs from the set. The album also comes with an alternate version of the song, and that version is even better; instead of being guitar-driven the alternate version relies on heavy keyboards and a slower pace, and the result is even more powerful than the album version. I’m glad they included both.

Donkey Show starts out with acoustic guitars that build to an all-out metal assault, before finally taking off to a fast-paced punkish tune that, much to my excitement, also includes Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers-esque power chord shredding toward the end of the song. Hell yes.

I Ain’t Ready comes next and immediately slows things down to an easy pace, complete with some smooth horns (provided by DeLa of Slightly Stoopid) accentuating the feel-good vibe. It’s another one of Prove It’s gems.

D.C.B. starts off like a Metallica song, with dark synth and acoustic guitar plucking that builds and builds into another instrumental mosh pit anthem, as always led by the guitar blitz provided by Weers and Bianchi. The lead guitar is on display here, frequently taking charge in the form of bombastic solos and riffs. The song builds at the end, leading right into Mind Control, creating one of the best transitions I’ve heard in a while. The song is also one of the strongest on the album, with all the Expendables’ talents on full display yet again. Atmospheric guitar tones, aggressive bass work by Ryan DeMars and pounding drums by Adam Patterson give the song a full, crunchy sound that make its under-three-minutes length seem like too short of a time for such a fun ride.

Wells, featuring G. Love on vocals and harmonica, is another high point on the album. Starting out with Weers and an acoustic guitar, the song has an irresistibly happy feeling to it, partly due to the great guitar work and the overall upbeat feeling. The song has changed a bit from its early version as a stripped-down acoustic song for Weers, but the studio version on Prove It was definitely a good idea.

The album ends with a seventeen-minute dub reggae jam called 2 Inch Dub. I didn’t expect this to be one of my favorite moments on the album, but it really is. The instrumentation is just amazing, as the combination of guitars, synth, bass, drums, and occasional horns is layered and stunning. At times even sounding proggy, with Pink Floyd-ish keys and an overall absolutely mesmerizing quality to it, 2 Inch Dub is just flat-out awesome. I didn’t know the band was capable of something like this.

That sentiment is really true for the whole album. Prove It truly is the most complete work the Expendables have accomplished thus far in their career. Every quality of their music is on display to the highest degree, and it shows that they are easily one of the best bands of this genre. That they’re able to speed things up and show that they’d make a great metal band is just more of a testament to their strengths as a band. While some of the other bands in the new reggae rock movement tend to be one or two- dimensional, the Expendables are in a league all their own.

Check out Prove It if you like any of the other bands of this genre. If you don’t like this genre, pick up Prove It anyway. It might change your mind. It’s a very solid album by a band that finds new ways to impress me with each release.

Well done, dudes.

Hawaii’s own Iration released their second full-length album, Time Bomb, this week. The band held a special album release show/party at the Roxy this Tuesday to mark the occasion. The event was hosted by Pepper, Iration’s fellow Hawaii-based reggae friends and label mates on Law Records. This article will serve as a review of both the show and the album Time Bomb. (Check out the gallery at the end of this article to see pictures of the show).

The first band I saw at the show was Pacific Dub, a group of young kids who looked like they were fresh out of high school (if not still in high school), and who played a typical but pleasant brand of surf reggae, not unlike the other bands on the bill. They were young, but they showed some promise for the future.

Next up was Zen Robbi, who were great. The band’s fusion of funk, punk, reggae and jazz created a very bouncy and catchy sound which I loved, so I picked up the band’s latest album Heavy Lies the Crown to take the party home with me.

After that, it was time for the main attraction. Pepper’s Yesod Williams presented Iration’s set, as Pepper is obviously proud of their label’s newest and most promising band. The set started with Cookie Jar, one of the band’s most memorable tunes from their Sample This EP. Micah Pueschel’s soothing voice and slick guitar work set to Adam Taylor’s groove-heavy bass licks create quite an engaging sound in concert, accentuated by Cayson Peterson’s keyboard skills. Iration played a few tunes from Time Bomb, including You Don’t Know (which was aided by a vocal performance by the band’s friend Tunji), Time Bomb, Love/Hate, Wait and See, Dream (about their homeland of Hawaii), and my personal highlight of the album, Turn Around. That song in particular has an incredibly infectious rhythm to it, and the synth/keyboard in the background creates a delicious melody that forced me to replay the track about four times after my initial listen. It’s that good.

As for the album itself, Iration has really come into its own as a band with this record. While No Time for Rest was good, some of the songs blended into each other a bit, but this time around the songs are much more independently memorable. Turn Around is the best track on the album, and probably my favorite of Iration’s entire catalog (up there with Falling and I’m With You).  Tunji’s verse on You Don’t Know gives the song a great balance of island reggae flavor and hip-hop groove, with vocalists Pueschel and Kai Rediske’s layered, relaxing vocals off-setting Tunji’s aggressive delivery perfectly. It’s another great part of the record.

About halfway through Iration’s set, the curtain went back up and their “special guests” took to the stage, the guests being, of course, Pepper. The boys from Kona Town played a medley of songs off of their debut record Kona Town, including B.O.O.T., Stone Love, and Stormtrooper, after opening their mini-set with a new song called Wake Up. It was a nice treat thrown in the middle of Iration’s set.

I was getting anxious that the band maybe was not going to play Turn Around, but they saved it for right before the encore, which soothed my anxiety. It sounds even better live, making it easily one of my favorite songs of this newer crop of reggae/dub bands.

With Time Bomb, Iration has really focused their attention more on driving guitar chords instead of laid-back reggae rhythms, a change from their previous work. For that reason, the album sounds much more full and fleshed out than their previous work (which wasn’t bad by any means, but wasn’t as well-executed as the new material). All In You is driven by a steady beat and vocals (with lyrics including If you wanna be a star, you gotta shine), all set to two complementary guitar tracks that work together to make the song another shining moment on the album (see what I did there?).

As a fan of bands such as The Expendables, Passafire (who also employ a guitar-driven approach to their new album as well), and Rebelution, I was pleased to find out Iration has gone in that same direction.

With Time Bomb, Iration is poised to reach a broader audience and hopefully reach the level of acclaim as fellow bands of this genre. Being on Pepper’s Law Records should only help the band rise in popularity, since Pepper have been the kings of this genre for a while now. At the Roxy Tuesday night it was apparent that the guys in Pepper are very proud of Iration, and they should be.

One thing that amused me was that Iration took some negative iTunes reviews of Time Bomb, printed them out, and taped the paper on the box office window and the main door to the Roxy, for all to see. The reviews on the sheet were the same type of criticism these bands always get, ones along the lines of “this isn’t real reggae, go listen to Bob Marley blah blah” or whatever. I like how Iration has a sense of humor about this, as their critics are just misguided. Music takes different forms over the years, genres and styles expand. To decry something as not worthwhile because it’s not “authentic” or whatever is just ignorant. If I lived in Hawaii I would probably be in a reggae band too. The atmosphere on the islands is just perfect for creating this kind of music. People who hate on such fun and relaxing music should just shut up and go listen to whatever it is they’re listening to in order to be ‘authentic’ and ‘real’ and leave this stuff for those of us who appreciate it for what it is.

Time Bomb is one of this genre’s best albums thus far, up there with Rebelution’s Bright Side of Life, The Expendables’ self-titled record, and Passafire’s latest Everyone On Everynight. I’m very glad to see these bands growing and maturing, as each record that comes out tends to be even better than the previous one.

Iration is the latest of these bands to follow that trend, and I’m eager to find out to what heights Time Bomb will take them. I hope it takes them even further up the reggae ranks.

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Initially, the notion behind Major Lazer - two white guys putting out a dancehall record - sounds a bit silly. But while DJs Diplo and Switch are not exactly veterans of the genre, they are not completely out of their element. It was them at the helm of M.I.A.'s dancehall inflected hit single Paper Planes which exploded early last year, and then there are the numerous baile funk mixes that Diplo released following a trip to Rio de Janeiro, and Switch's highly varied and extensive remix work. Still, even without that in mind - if ever they felt out of their element during this album's production, you'd never know it. The beats carry an unbridled confidence, and rightfully so; despite an ever so slight slump in the middle (and only because the rest is so consistently flooring), the muscular beats are strong enough to make you move and the smoother ones still have a great groove to them. Not only that, but quite a list of Jamaican (among other) vocalists was assembled, and just about everyone is given their chance to shine. Dude, seriously? I don't even know where to start.

Guns Don't Kill starts off with the Mr. Lexx and Santigold-led opening of Hold the Line establishes the mood perfectly; aggressive yet unrelentlingly melodic beat with random sounds coming from everywhere, yet all fitting in perfectly. Cell phone rings, breaking glass, cat calls, smacking lips, and that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. The steady beat continues as Ms. Thing takes over on the even more arresting When You Hear the Bassline, with the production altering her voice at every turn.

The gorgeous rocksteady (I can't say that without referencing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) groove of Can't Stop Now is crooned over by both Mr. Vegas and Jovi Rockwell, who each do an outstanding job. The beat is alluring all on its own with its understated quirks, but it's the vocal harmonies that steal the show. The energy explodes again immediately after with Lazer Theme's incredibly bold bass line, which rocks hard with Future Trouble's aggressive flow over it for two and a half minutes that never feel long enough.

Anything Goes and Cash Flow are good in their own respect, in fact they're great. Both songs are solid, textbook dancehall, but after the astonishing first four tracks, while they don't quite interrupt the album's flow or fail to keep things going, they just can't help but feel like slight let-downs. Things pick right back up though with Mary Jane, which, as the title suggests, is an unexpectedly charming ode to marijuana. The blazingly fast (har har) beat sees Mr. Evil and Mapei singing of their botanic love with Diplo and Switch shooting random shit off in the background to top the already rousing beat. At least for me, this was the first time a line like "Roll it, smoke it, light it up" has ever sounded genuinely fun and not trying to look cool, like "duuuude let's smoke some weeeeeeeeed."

While the graphic What U Like is good all around, Amanda Blank is disappointingly... well, she's practically absent entirely. Einstein has a great flow to be sure, but a battle between the two would have been amazing; one would think this song to be right up her alley, given her aggressively sexual material. Up next is the album's peak, the R&B meets trance Keep It Goin' Louder and the glitch happy Pon De Floor. The former is a textbook summer dance song, whose lack of single promotion is downright criminal, while Pon is an equally rousing with its creative voice manipulation and chopped up drums. Guns Don't Kill ends strong with a baby with built in autotune and the thumping house informed finale of Jump Up. Leftside and Supahype rap and shout out throughout, though the heavily layered and danceable track could probably stand alone even without the spice they toss in.

On tonight's episode of "The Boys Trip Balls"

Guns Don't Kill... Lazers Do has energy and charm to spare. It's an excellent introduction to the dancehall genre as well, which is one that I admittedly know jack shit about. Insanely catchy, ridiculously fun, and easily one of the most charismatic albums of the year. I can't recommend this one enough.

passafire album

As I call it, the ‘white boy reggae’ scene has been thriving for the past couple years. Bands like the Expendables, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution have toured relentlessly in recent years to packed houses; I saw both Rebelution and the Expendables sell out the House of Blues on Sunset last year. Adding to this slew of talented young reggae bands is Passafire, whose album Everyone on Everynight dropped on September 15th. The band, from Savannah, Georgia, is signed to Pepper’s own LAW Records, and has toured with them in the past. Their 2007 album Submersible was considered to be one of iTunes’ top reggae albums of that year, and Everyone on Everynight is the follow-up to that record.

And it follows up very nicely. While the lead singer, Ted Bowne, has a bit of a strange voice that takes some getting used to, it really fits with the music, a great blend of reggae and rock styles that makes them sound a little more substantive than the silliness of bands like Pepper and the punk-infused Slightly Stoopid. Also, the guitar work on Everyone on Everynight is rather impressive, as they employed the use of some ripping electric guitars which make the songs that much livelier; while Submersible was solid, the songs tended to have a similar overall feel and tempo to them. This time around, the songs are much more varied and have their own styles that are each memorable in their own way.

Casting of the Cares kicks off the disc, and it’s a melodic romp with some great guitar riffs and percussion. Keeping in Touch follows it up and has a nice gentle melody weaved throughout the tune, making it another highlight. Illuminate has a more aggressive rhythm, led by some kickass bass work by Will Kubly and a bouncy beat that I imagine is quite a hit in the live setting. I’ve only seen Passafire open for Pepper one time, before any of these songs were around, so I want to see them now that this album has been released to see some of these songs performed. On Here in Front of Me, the guitar again takes over, as the song is led by a riff that leads into one of the more catchy choruses on the album, with Bowne asking “Is it actually happening…right here in front of me?”. The chorus then goes into a sick melodic breakdown heavy on the percussion. The song reminds me a bit of 311, which to me is a good thing since 311 is my favorite band.

chillin by waterfalls is everyday business
chillin by waterfalls is everyday business

Carouser is another of the high-energy songs on the album, with more funky bass and electric guitar riffage that start the song off with quite a bang before it slows down into the verse. Leave the Lights On is another song that sounds like 311, with a crunchy riff propelling the song into mosh pit-territory (or at least the type of mosh pit that would be at this kind of concert). Keep in mind, now, when I say “sounds like 311” that’s not meant to take anything away from Passafire; the energy of these songs just echo the same type of catchy energy and masterful reggae/rock fusion that I find with 311 tunes (or at least older 311 songs). Prelectricity slows things down a bit after the power of Leave the Lights On, and as the ‘end’ of the album (before the two acoustic numbers) caps off a pretty impressive collection of songs.

This album really finds Passafire at the top of their game, and is a marked improvement over Submersible, which I found a bit too one-dimensional in sound. The band has since really fleshed out its feel and the structure of their songs, and the result is one of the better albums of this genre that I’ve heard in recent memory. Rebelution’s latest album Bright Side of Life, while also solid, is very similar in sound to their debut Courage to Grow, as the band apparently didn’t really expand their sound too greatly; conversely, this time around Passafire has expanded on their repertoire in the best possible way. I hope they soon attain the same kind of attention and fame as the other bands of this genre. They definitely deserve it.

They’re playing with the Expendables and Hawaii’s own Iration February 27th at the House of Blues on Sunset. Get your tickets now. Beanie and board shorts required, of course.

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AuthorCheese Sandwich
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rebelution bright side of life

Since my friend Jordyn B. over at MLC PR hit me up with this album over a month ago, I’ve been (attempting to) bump it in my car, feeling the endearing affect of white boys doing reggae…and doing it quite well.

We are talking about Rebelution, whom you may remember has been running the game since their debut album in 2007, Courage to Grow. By running, I’m talking about maintaining a steady position in the 10 ten reggae albums chart for all this time. Yes the boys are that good.

Today, I’m pleased to tell you FINALLY that their sophomore album entitled, Bright Side of Life is out. Things have only gotten better this time around. Matt Velasquez was a good singer, but I think Eric Rachmany (I’m going to pronounce it Rock-Many, as it is more badass) is great. He gives me nostalgia of earlier 311’s Nick Hexum. Marley Williams is on bass, with a refined skill over his previous work, with Rory Carey keeping it steady on the keyboards. Wesley Finley is the shit on the drums, giving them a little bit more edge than usual reggae would have, but it’s all very welcomed in my book.

Already number six on the charts today, I want to break down what weapons were brandished to slay the opposition right out of the gates.

The intro song and title track, Bright Side of Life has a beautiful guitar shred piece that really warms you up the way an album should. The pieces of Wesley on drums when he beats the kick drum in a quick succession of six made me literally nod my head in approval as I ran the track back a few times for good measure. Also keep an ear out for the lovely horn section throughout.

Almost making itself my number one choice for songs on the album, track three, Outta Control is just that. The guitar in the chorus is amazing right after the silly keyboard/bass combo, and sick drum kick off pre-chorus. The songs not only keeps it upbeat musically, but also tackles the hit and miss tactics we try with ladies that don’t always work as we plan. I’ll admit, I change the chorus to “this shit’s outta control” every time I sing it, as I do the Funky Charleston with my little brother in our living room.

I can’t forget about the simple summer love song, Lazy Afternoon.  Not to be confused with the track by The Roots’ 1994 Do You Want More song of the same name; this one is about spending the lazy day with the one you love (or your flavor of the week, whichever). This is truly a piece of the bright side of life.

rebelution

But my favorite chunk of the album actually comes in the form of three songs together. Much like third, fourth, and fifth tracks of the Mars Volta’s The Bedlam in Goliath, I feel the same feelings for the sixth, seventh and eighth track on Rebelution’s latest work.

The first of the three is a down low beat called Too Rude, which I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to have this conversation with people (you know who you are). This is what reggae is about. People forget that just because it’s not as poetic, it’s more of message music. You can nod your head not only in agreement with what’s being said, but also to the dub styles and reggae flows that a song like this captured perfectly.

The second is actually an instrumental entitled Dubzilla, which originally I thought was part of the song that it flows seamlessly into. It has the perfect (what I like to call) morning horns throughout it, with the keys laying down a steady heightening number of notes along with the bass. The drums as always are sick on this track, with the cymbal work being particularly enticing.

After running the track before it back a few times, I reached the blend to the third part of my favorite piece of the album, Bump. This song is perfect for me, because I find myself having conversations with people about being true to you, gaining respect, and being there for other people. This is the bottom line rule about life, and we get it to a sick guitar solo in the middle of the song. I can’t get enough of the bass line, or the drum changeovers throughout it. This is what I say to Rebelution: this is what kind of music keeps you at the top, regardless of what haters will say.

This is album is incredible, and came along right in time to brighten your life during the summer time, with a message that is as positive as it is true. I’ll have the honor of spending time with the band at the West Beach Music and Arts Festival in mid September, in their hometown Santa Barbara.

Sales are probably going crazy already in the stores, so if you can’t find a copy, grab it on iTunes and bump it at the beach. It feels good to be right all the time about how good an album can be. Be a part of the Rebelution, I promise you’ll love it.

Until next time my friends,

~Flak