Front to Back
Collie Budz, Matisyahu, UB40
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Reggae music with fake Jamaican accents is a difficult obstacle to overcome. Hailing from Utah, yes reggae from Utah is also another roadblock making for some challenges ahead in the review process. Yet we got through the requisite five listens and can gleam a few positives when all is said and done.
The Wasnatch crew have a sense of humor, but not an over the top sense of humor. More of a humor that exudes a we don't care attitude and a true love for the reggae style. They stay true to their sound and utilize a somewhat talented brass section with some decent bass lines along the way (see track 2 "Politrics"). A few tracks border and almost surmount the top (see "Skanky Dirty" and "Cougar Killer")... of the over the top realm, but slide back down. Track 3, "Income Tax" is brutal and painfully boring as the horn section is fed some very weak melodies. The song drags and is quite a downer. The last four songs of the album actually provide some redemption as "Medicine Head" has a great bass-line with a somewhat redundant melody but interesting surrounding lyrics. The last four tracks contain well crafted guitar rhythms along with delving into a few different genres such as blues and punk. 'Dragon Butter' really strays in a good way with some impressive brass work and semi-spoken word approach. Interesting and we don't mind the straying. Of course the album contains the requisite mention of weed and getting high.
Wasnatch really never delve into 'different' territory (outside of the bizzaro cover). The album is pretty well contained and does not take many risks in providing any innovative approaches to the reggae delivery. Frankly, the album may keep your attention for the first several listens, but may grow tiring as it lacks depth and high-end production. When you are cranking some reggae, you want pounding bass and something to give your woofer a workout. Front to Back falls short in its mediocrity. While much too popular for our site, we recommend you grab some Matisyahu if you are looking for high-end sound and non-conventional (non-native) reggae. - 5/29/2014
Standout Tracks: Politrics
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