Review: Tommy Dubs – Take What You Want

Review: Tommy Dubs – Take What You Want

Tommy Dubs – Take What You Want
Track Listing:
1.) Won’t Be Coming Home
2.) We Taking On
3.) Bring Fire On You
4.) Nothing To Learn
5.) People In Your Neighborhood
6.) Take It or Leave It
7.) Fade Away
8.) Believe
9.) Burn The Tapes
10.) Un Poquito Mas
11.) Straw Man

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: December 20th, 2011
Official Website: Tommy Dubs Website

Group Background:
Emerging out of his dusty broken-down sound shack, producer Tommy Dubs, delivers a diverse blend of international flavors with a foundation based in the roots of his enclave, Ocean Beach San Diego. Spinning tales of love and dread, Tommy Dubs translates future-dancehall, hip-hop, Latin, psychedelia, rock, and electronic bass bin burners into lazy summer jams and midnight dance floor fillers.

Tommy Dubs paired with Seismic Leveler as his backing band has been busy playing all over San Diego. Tommy recently took on a “30 songs in 30 days” challenge and ended up with enough material for two full-length albums. The companion album to Take What You Want, Manana De Sol will be available for digital download only on December 27th.

Album Review:
Take What You Want is an album busting at the seams with psychedelic, soul, reggae, blues and dub sounds that will bring a little warmth and sunshine in the cold winter months. Just the fact that the songs were written in less than 30 days is astounding, but add in the fact that songs and lyrics are actually high quality makes the feat even that much more impressive.

This album has something for everyone, from dub heavy tracks like “Un Poquito Mas”, “Bring Fire On You”, and “Fade Away”, to upbeat grooves like “Nothing To Learn”, and “Wont Be Coming Home”, makes the bands versatility crystal clear. The multiple layers of different sounds and effects are so intricate and well produced. This album is a real treat right before the holidays and will make wrapping all those presents that less arduous.

“Won’t Be Coming Home” has a bluesier feel to it and sounds like the kind of song you might hear on the soundtrack from a movie at Sundance. As the first song on the album it allows each instrument to shine, transitioning between keyboard and guitar solos. It sets the bar high for he rest of the album, which does not disappoint.

The Spanish-English fusion, “Un Poquito Mas”, features special guest Aleke from the Barcelona band Planeta Lem. The song is a seductive blend of lush dub effects and hard-hitting drum and bass. They were able to take manufactured sounds and blend them together in a way that feels organic. The song also shows that music is so powerful that it can break all barriers. No matter what language you speak, everyone understands good music.

“Straw Men” starts out with a powerful clip from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech which was delivered the day before his assassination on 1968. The song seems to be a call to action and asks many of the same questions running through the minds of our generation, “Who can think with all this fighting going on? Just cause you think that you are right, doesn’t mean that I am wrong. Who are you to tell me what side of the tracks I belong?” Instead of making an album full of songs with lighthearted, catchy lyrics (and there are a few, but who can resist!) Tommy let us poke around in the corners of his mind and see the world from his eyes.

Some bands work for years to produce an album as good as Take What You Want, and many of them fall short. Hopefully this album will garner the kind of attention it deserves because you cannot only hear, but feel the passion woven through each melody. While San Diego may already know and love Tommy Dubs and Seismic Leveler, it’s time to make the rest of the world stand up and listen.

Written & Reviewed by: Ashley Allred

Here’s a promo video for Take What You Want

[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]