By Dub Pistols
The best friends in life are the ones who you don't see for years but as soon as you meet up it's as if you only saw them last night. I'm put in mind of this as I'm about to head down to the big smoke to see some old mates, yet the same can also be said of the Dub Pistols' new album. From the first track you immediately forget the three years since the boys' last LP. Always described as genre defying, the Dubs have added Drum and Bass to their repertoire along with the usual dub, reggae, raps, big beat and breaks. Phew!
Album opener and one half of the first double A side single Alive sees Red Star Lion return to the Dub Pistols fold. His distinctive Barbadon twang starts the tune and album beautifully. The track begins quite sparsely with a few trombones (this will be my only attempt to identify a brass instrument in this album as I'm close to useless at it) but kicks in like a mule. I've already got a smile on my face, and can't wait for the rest of the album.
Also making a welcome return is the frankly brilliant Rodney P, one of the most distinct voices UK hip-hop has ever produced. On the second half of the first single from the album he takes us along for his drugs, drink and women filled Mucky Weekend. His sharp and witty rapping delivered over the DnB talents the Dub Pistols showcased in their remix for NiceUp! Records that I recently reviewed. It's a proper belter and one that will be doing the party rounds this summer for sure.
Rodney P is back for more DnB mayhem on Gunshot. The brass section in this immediately made me think of the brilliant Skibadee track Tika Tock. This sort of tune demonstrates everything that is great in UK Bass music right now, showing off years of roots and urban influence and innovation. The final track featuring the legendary Mr P is a more laid back affair. Rock Steady slows things down to a swagger with his vocals slide lazily between the vocal harmonies of Lindy Layton, one time member of Beats International.
There is plenty more vocal talent on show throughout Worshipping the Dollar from the UK. None more so than Dan Bowskill who features on the reggae number West End Story. London born Bowskill rails again a world where "all your freedom is written on a paycheck" and "silly politicians who keep bitchin' as if its not their mates that make all the weapons that's doing all the killings" over a backdrop of horns, beats and brass.
The Dubs and Bowskill keep your head bobbing along with TK Lawrence guesting on New Skank. Once again the brass instruments take centre stage in and this is a track you know will go down a treat live on stage this summer. Bowskill also appears on two of the other DnB tunes on the album, Rub a Dub and Bad Card. Rub A Dub in particular hits the sweet spot, a great intro before the beats kick in shortly followed by an arse kicking bassline and ryhmes.
My favourite vocals are probably those provided by The Kitten & The Hip on Bang Bang. A bit more of a ska styling on this one, the lyrics are sassy and smart and wonderfully sung. The Kitten actually reminds me a little of Alice Russell and I will surely be keeping an ear out for more from these two.
Musically and lyrically, the album is right on the money from start to finish. Everything you would expect from the duo (with their roster of helpers) is here. Big beats, big breaks, big bass and most of all big fun. I just can't wipe the great big grin off my face nor stop my feet from tapping and head bobbing when I've got this album on. In fact I may as well apologise to anyone who commutes from Horsforth to Leeds on the 50 bus, as I've probably had this album turned up a little louder than is sociable on the morning run to work.
Winners of DJ Mag's best live act last year, this album provides another fantastic reason to see the Dub Pistols over the summer. If you can't see them live then buy the album and get your mates round, get the barbecue on (when the sun returns), drag your speakers outside and have a good dance round your garden. You won't regret it.