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

Sublime With Rome
Rock
2
BMG Chrysalis
<p>Weed has become more potent since deceased <a href="/artist/280903/sublime/chart">Sublime</a> vocalist Bradley Nowell sang a cover of "Smoke Two Joints" on his band's seminal <em>40 oz. to Freedom</em> 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 <a href="http://www.billboard.com/artist/280904/sublime-rome/chart">Sublime With Rome</a> debut, <em>Yours Truly</em> (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.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.billboard.com/video/sublime-with-rome-at-firefly-2015-its-all-about-maintaining-a-really-good-feeling-on-stage">Sublime With Rome at Firefly 2015: 'It's All About Maintaining a Really Good Feeling on Stage'</a></p><p>Like the band's moniker, SWR's sound merely approximates the original: "Skankin'&nbsp;" is double-time ska, of course; "Promised Land Dubb" is aptly narcotic; and the title track features a <a href="/artist/300985/dirty-heads/chart">Dirty Heads</a> 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.</p><p><em>This story originally appeared in the <a href="http://shop.billboard.com/products/billboard-back-issue-volume-127-issue-21">July 25 issue of Billboard</a>.</em></p>