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Dub Trio | Another Sound Is Dying | review | rock | Lollipop
Another Sound Is Dying (Ipecac)
By Craig Regala
OK, "heavy" is something that needs a certain amount of undertow: You just can't have heavy music without some sorta rhythmic trudge, a slow boil. It's not noise or speed that makes the cut. The original heavy rock was formed from the flesh of the blues and the back bone of Mother Europe via her military marches (see: Black Sabbath's opening to "War Pigs"). The move towards heavy via dub reggae that Dub Trio makes isn't generally smeared on Headbangers' Ball all too often, but it lurks and every few years, something flows lava-like up and into the banger and bangerette among us, often in the syncopation of Jamaican patois as absorbed from its early and continuing effect on hip hop (Skindred, hed(pe), are a couple good examples). '70s punk also had a head full of the stuff, and some of those skinny whities tried their hand at it: The Clash doing OK, the Ruts doing better, the Slits going whole hog, and then an art/aggro/world throb thing a year or so on giving birth to PiL and The Pop Group as well as the charming (more) psychedelic African-leaning On-U Sound Records label popped up. Godflesh and related bands, as well as Bill Laswell, used the technique in music seemingly unrelated, but hell, it worked.
So whadda we got here? A chops-full singer-less unit bent on structuring a nimble, loping rock, pushing heavy bass and power chords and all the emotional drag dub dips into your head. Does it work? Yeah. It's solid as the Bad Brains "I Against I" songwise, but I just have to bring up another band on SST Records: Blind Idiot God. 20 years ago, they launched their self-titled record, and I gotta think they plowed the field and broke open some minds as they hurled up a metallized drone thrash using dub techniques and doing three straight-up dubs at the end on the disc. Another Sound is Dying is a winner on the sole reason of playability. It's a catchy goddamn thing full of throbbing dub-inflected ricochet rock, and swelling dub moves often using the "dub" parts as bridges or downshifts before the recrush stomps in. Heart and head, head and heart. My picks would be the opening crush rocker, "Not For Nothing," "Funishments"' incredibly precise glitchbeat tech-metaloid Sonic Youth in-a- scrap-heap who-ha, and "Who Wants To Die?"'s grandiose hard rock beatdown swirled and washed into pure menacing dub.
For those who deal with all the stuff mentioned above and that they've toured with Clutch and Helmet as well as making the Korn/Deftones/Soulfly lovin' coworker of mine happy is enough proof these guys belong in the real here and now.