Sublime’s New Iteration Wears Even Thinner on Reggae-Rock Rehash ‘Sirens’: Album Review

Sublime With Rome
Rock
2
BMG Chrysalis

Weed has become more potent since deceased Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell sang a cover of "Smoke Two Joints" on his band's seminal 40 oz. to Freedom in 1992. Still, you'd have to be pretty high to not be at least a little offended by this incarnation of the group. With founding drummer Bud Gaugh leaving after 2011's Sublime With Rome debut, Yours Truly (and later saying he regrets using the Sublime name for it), the last original member, bassist Eric Wilson, is again joined by vocalist Rome Ramirez for a set of reggae-punk. 

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Like the band's moniker, SWR's sound merely approximates the original: "Skankin' " is double-time ska, of course; "Promised Land Dubb" is aptly narcotic; and the title track features a Dirty Heads guest verse with the line "Rhymin' with Sublime and shit/So you can just go climb a dick." The tunes are competently rendered, but that actually makes them worse: That these guys are selling out shows as what amounts to a cover band is the kind of thing you need to be super-baked to wrap your head around.

This story originally appeared in the July 25 issue of Billboard.