Audiodub – The City
1.) Bad Blow
2.) It’s Never Enough
3.) The City
4.) Tell Me (Acousic)
5.) Fire In The Hole
7.) Run and Hide (Acoustic)
8.) The Spotlight
10.) My Sweet Shady
12.) Water and The Pill
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: January 12th, 2016
Official Website: Audiodub Website
Formed as a Sublime tribute band in 2006, San Francisco’s Audiodub quickly adopted the rock/reggae format to fit their original material. Since releasing their debut album So Scud in 2008 and its follow-up Daytime TV in 2009, the then trio accumulated a loyal West Coast following that snowballed into their 3rd studio album, Love No More in 2010. This is where the group’s trail went cold as they went on a 5 year hiatus that saw the group returning as a four piece with the addition of Sid Slater, on guitar, keys and supporting vocals. Sid joins Dustin Finney on Guitar/Vocals, Jordan Fezler on Bass and Joe McKane on Drums.
Once a Sublime tribute band always a Sublime tribute band, right? Not so fast.
Audiodub does a great job of avoiding repetitive up-skank rhythms and instead focusing on instrumentals and unique song premises. This is evident with the album’s opening track “Bad Blow,” an upbeat tune about a drug deal gone bad which features a fun combination of glaring guitar riffs, atmospheric keyboard notes, and a sample of O.T. Genasis’ “CoCo.”
The band’s fun instrumentals carry over into my favorite song on the album “It’s Never Enough” which features a subtle series of guitar notes on the chorus and descriptive lyrics that hooked me.
The production quality throughout the album is superb and the band’s ability to tell stories within their songs was a treat to hear, however I found myself repelled by Dustin Finney’s occasional vocal and tonal similarities to Sublime’s Brad Nowell on songs like “Micro-Bro.” Finney is a talented singer with his own tone, as the two opening tracks showed, but knowing that the band once operated as a Sublime cover band made these similarities seem more like an impersonation.
The band continues with another string of enjoyable songs such as “The City,” an ode to the band’s hometown of San Francisco, “Fire In The Hole,” and two mellow acoustic tunes “Tell Me” and “Run and Hide,” which further accentuate Finney’s vocal range. “Tell Me” notably features a surprising but powerful falsetto at the 2:25 mark, which is rarely heard on a reggae-rock album.
Perhaps the album’s weakest song is “Match.com,” a silly tune about hooking up with desperate single mothers that probably should have been left for entertaining the band’s friends in private rather than being placed on the album. If the opening line of “Her biological clock is ticking, don’t giver her your cell phone number if that’s what you’re thinking,” doesn’t cause you to skip the song, you’re a stronger person than I.
After that bump in the road, the album returns to a mellow pace with “The Spotlight,” which features an appearance from the seldom-heard harmonica and “My Sweet Shady” before finishing strong with “Nellie,” a beautiful, refreshingly original and heart-wrenching tune told from a parent’s perspective, and the acoustically based “Water and The Pill.”
Overall, I found The City to be a strong and refreshing reggae-rock album to open the new year with. Whether its unique instrumentals, descriptive lyricism, or simple Sublime-inspired rock songs, you’ll find it on this album. The band has shown obvious signs of growth throughout the course of their discography, and this album does a great job of demonstrating that progression within a twelve-song track list. A five-year hiatus had to have been tough for Audiodub fans to deal with, but I’m sure they’ll agree that The City was well worth the wait
Written & Reviewed By: Andrew Aroche
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]