January 24, 2008


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Dub Trio, Another Sound Is Dying
Ipecac Recordings, Jan. 22
The New Hampshire connection here is that the basic tracks were recorded at Brookline’s secluded Studio Metronome over the course of a week, an impossible length of time to accomplish anything great unless your band comprises New Yawk session players who’ve helped out such big names as 50 Cent, Matisyahu and the Fugees, and your go-to singer is Faith No More/Tomahawk/Mr. Bungle savant Mike Patton.

The brazen title for this mostly instrumental album could be interpreted as a tolling of the bell for many genres, not dub in particular. The songs are genre-shish-kebabs that would in less competent hands be written off as cut-paste nonsense, particularly given the mud-metal undercurrent throughout. I’ve whined before about the heavy bands out there that base everything they do on rigid, politically correct reverence for their direct ancestors; this is a shot in the arm if you’ve been feeling similar pain. Metal this is, but dub elements pop up everywhere, including power-spray white noise, cheesebag reverb and momentary reggae riddims. These form a coating over a constantly shifting but lucidly drawn series of exercises — Ride the Lightning-era Metallica giving way to math-metal jazzercise, Ramones four-chord bliss, Rastafarian bounce. Again, this is mainly instrumental — the band trusts only Mike Patton when it comes to appropriate singers and he’s only around for one tune. B+ — E. W. S.