Dub Trio – Another Sound is Dying

4 out of 5

Label: Ipecac

Producer: Dub Trio, Joel Hamilton

God damn, I have not heard such a mad clatter of low-end as Another Sound is Dying.  Although the ‘Dub’ isn’t a joke – the influence definitely floats through the tracks, with panning effects and the clipped upward strum – this is definitely a metal trio, hard hitting, tight songs that get to the point and stick to it.  Ipecac releases normally float just out of range for me – digging into Mike Patton’s roots, there seems to be an affinity for a very electronic sound to the production that normally washes the edges off of the aggressive roster – such as the Skeleton Key release that wound up on the label.  Dub Trio, in part, play over this barrier just due to the amped up production style of traditional dub mixing, but the album still carries that Ipecac sound – however, this is when it works.  Reggae and dub always have a sort of warm, earthy and rounded feeling to how the instruments and vocals are captured.  As ‘Another Sound’ is mostly instrumental, dusting off that earthiness and feeding it through a computer, then turning the bass drum up to max… this shit just blows out of your speakers and has you nodding your head even if you’re not listening – you cannot tune this stuff out.  Not in a bad way – the group did their rounds on ROIR and have a jammy feel to them, so while the sound is polished and the players professional, they leave enough room for each other to get a groove going.

Mr. Patton pops up as friend and label host to add some vocals to a track.  It’s a definite pause in the flow – the first track to partition and build – and it’s not badly sequenced, being about in the middle of the album, and the lyrics are inoffensively vague enough to fly – but the band, for some reason, decides not to pick up speed again right away after this, segueing into tracks that feel like more traditional rock, subtracting the dub influence, and while they’re still head-bobbing songs, it pulls back the curtain for a second.

Still, I was hesitant about Dub Trio – they had press at the time due to the unique combo of sounds, they’re switch to Ipecac, etc.  It sounds gimmicky.  And I hate dub.  But I don’t have to hide my love for this album – it rocks.

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