Another Sound Is Dying
Dub Trio's name is somewhat misleading. The group's music owes relatively little to Lee Perry, Scientist, or King Tubby; instead, they play hard rock in the vein of Helmet or even Shellac, only instrumental. But they do take dub techniques and apply them to their metallic riffs and thunderous bass, which is what vaults their music out of the pack. Reverb, echo, and disorienting panning effects are integral parts of the mix on this, Dub Trio's third studio album. Midway through opening track, "Not for Nothing," an almost Sabbathian riff is underpinned by drums that crack and boom like they've been sampled from Burning Spear's Garvey's Ghost, and space-age zaps adorn the margins of the mix even as the guitar solo spins out into the stratosphere. "Jog On" puts a scorching riff atop a drum pattern that's straight outta the dancehall, bass booms and all; "Who Wants to Die?" combines Page Hamilton-esque crunch with echoey, psychedelic accents that are pure Black Ark. The only track to feature vocals is "No Flag," and they come courtesy of Mike Patton, who's emerged as something of a patron to Dub Trio. He also contributed to one song on their previous studio disc, 2006's New Heavy; they were the backing band when he toured behind his "mutant pop" album Peeping Tom; and this disc is on his Ipecac label (all previous DT discs were on reggae/punk imprint ROIR). The change of label hasn't altered the group's approach, which makes this both a solid introduction to Dub Trio for newcomers and a welcome continuation of their journey into the space between metal and dub for existing fans.