Review: Phat Reggae Dub – Self Titled EP

Review: Phat Reggae Dub – Self Titled EP

Phat Reggae Dub – Self Titled EP
Track Listing:
1.) The Key
2.) The Time Between
3.) Wise Up
4.) Riding The Fourth Wave
5.) Back To The Pad

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: December 6th, 2011
Official Website: Phat Reggae Dub Website

Group Background:
Formed in Huntington Beach, California in late 2008 Phat Reggae Dub jumped on the scene after winning a local battle of the bands. The winnings of which helped the group put out their first album, Be Free, in 2010. Both their first album and new EP were recorded at the infamous 17th Street Studios with Lewis Richards in Costa Mesa, California.

Album Review:
Phat Reggae Dub’s new self-titled EP is a mash up of rock steady, ska, and classic dub sounds. While the group’s individual musical elements are solid, together the overall sound seems premature.

“Back to the Pad,” which was released as a single in 2010, features lyrics that play on simple rhyme schemes which are evident from the first verse – “I just got to class, I just smoked some grass, Holy shit I graduated, How the hell did I pass?” The music is decently composed and keeps the listeners attention with a mix of thick saxophone solos and skank guitar but the lyrics seem like a complete afterthought.

“Wise Up” and “The Time Between” both make good use of classic dub effects, ska style horn lines, and more grungy guitar solos, but the juxtaposition of elements feels a bit off. However, underneath the complicated construction of the songs and simple rhyming conventions is quality music and a band that is dedicated to their craft. There’s no guest appearances on the album, but the group did put out a rendering cover of a Streetlight Manifesto song with the track “Riding The Fourth Wave”.

The spoken word vocals do not cohesively mesh with the style and direction of the rest of the band. While both elements are good on their own, the music and vocal elements just do not complement each other. I applaud the group for trying something new, because it’s not easy to try and stand out in a crowd, but the EP lacks the unforgettably the group was striving for.

But, lasting hits are not made overnight and with a little more fine-tuning, I think Phat Reggae Dub will be wearing out the soles on our dancing shoes for a long time to come.

Written & Reviewed by: Ashley Allred

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