I’m sorry to say, but your ex may have been right — change is indeed a good thing. For longtime fans of NYC’s Dub Trio, the primary draw was hearing three white dudes throw down the kind of raw, spaced out dub transmissions you only experienced on the most psychedelic Prince Jammy plate. Their aptitude for creating such an authentic atmosphere landed them a deal with New York’s premier reggae-punk label ROIR USA in 2004, who released their outstanding debut, “Exploring the Dangers of…”
However, recent live performances have seen Dub Trio altering their sound to attain a more metallic edge, which initially threw off those who were first turned onto the band because of their purist approach to classic dub. But hearing them expound upon their roots in loud rock through a dub plate lens on their new album, the fusion begins to make perfect sense.
On “New Heavy,” Dub Trio’s attempts to fuse metal guitars and echodelic riddims fall right on the money in the studio. The riffs here are direct descendants of Helmet, Fugazi and “I Against I”-era Bad Brains, especially on tracks like the explosive opener “Illegal Dub,” the “Meantime”-esque “Angle of Acceptance” and the tumultuous ode to their favorite TV character, “Jack Bauer.”
You also have a great collaboration with Mike Patton, “Not Alone,” that could easily pass as an outtake from Faith No More’s “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime.” But fret not, faithful dub fans, because “New Heavy” also features some serious, serious riddims amidst the riffs, particularly the thundering, seven-plus minute “Table Rock Dub” and the illuminating closer “Lullaby For…” — Ron Hart