Long Beach Dub Allstars, Long Beach Dub Allstars (Regime Music Group)
The once-upon-a-time Sublime spinoff group are back at it in the studio with a regrouping now entirely composed of non-Sublime personnel that keeps intact the voices and players that made their sound different even as they were held to the inevitable standard of comparison that fans of the original California trio were hungry for when LBDA first came on the scene in the late ’90s. That means the fat and filler of the bullshit “Sublime With Rome” projects don’t make the cut here, making way for authentic, easy-going roots reggae and non-offensive ska riffing from a pool of talent neither stuck in the past nor desperately clinging to branding standards that would leave them competing with a pale imitation of themselves. While nothing here will reinvent your relationship to upstroke rhythms, the core creativity of the Goodman/Happoldt/Ortiz line-up (with contributions from sadly departed brothers and LBDA OGs Ikey and Aaron Owens) is bright enough to bring the band to the promised land its best intentions suggested in the last millennium. The album is fun, thoughtful and will hopefully give the group space to breathe outside its own legacy when touring can begin. 7/10 Trial Track: “Dream”
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