When you attend Fillmore shows, occasionally you will get freebies on your way out. A few times, its been iTunes sampler cards. I found out about this band from one of those downloads and ended up buying the album.
Reggae and Ska seem to fit warm weather, and I find my frequency of listening increases as the temperatures rise and the car windows go down. The temperatures hit the century mark this week and when this song came up on random shuffle it was quite conclusive of summer descending upon us.
This song is from Street Gospels, the third album from the band Bedouin Soundclash. Billing them as a Canadian reggae trio seems restrictive, their music expands more into world beat, ska and at times alternative folk. While they have garnered some fame in their native country and Europe, they seem to have skirted such in the United States, despite a few festival tours with larger acts.
This particular song is one of the standouts of the album and has some notable elements that make it “ear worthy”. A good bass line and rhythm section are the foundations for many great ska and reggae songs, but what makes this one so artful is the chord progressions through suspended chords resolving back again at the end of verses and Jay Malinowski’s strong vocals that have a slight plaintive undertones on the choruses. Lyrically, it mixes politics and music like a good reggae song should. but in a very modern way almost suggestive of Big Audio Dynamite’s “Sudden Impact”. Armageddon is upon us, but we want to party!
The rest of the album is worth looking into as well. Especially if you are stuck on a California freeway in the hot summer sun…