The Aggrolites – S/T

The style of music that The Aggrolites play is a classic brand of reggae and ska. The music is not the blend of ska and punk that Tim would have in Rancid, but rather something (that during tracks like “Thunder Fist”) recall the sixties more than anything else. The tracks are newer but each of the songs feel as if they should be a reggae classic. The production of this self-titled album is something that even feels old. There is a fuzziness that is present during all the tracks of the disc; this makes the entire experience that individuals can take from the disc that much more warm and friendly.

Songs like “Countryman Fiddle” are immediately able to be sung along with; the tempo of the track may be slower, but what The Aggrolites do is create a fire underneath all that listen in. This is done more successfully than any thrash act; individuals are bouncing and dancing along without any sense of modesty. The songs can meander on for three or four minutes, but the band is able to create a party like vibe to their music that make even the longest tracks on this album something that individuals will eat up. The presence of a synthesizer during tracks like “Death at Ten Paces” give the band a whole other layer of sound, and diversifies the disc enough that individuals can listen on even if they are feeling burnt out by that point of the track. The vocals are not used for telling a story during the track, but are used to further fill the band’s sound (the use of samples on the track punctuate the arrangements well).

The album is the perfect zone or smoke out disc; the tracks are well done without being bland, and intense without being obnoxious or irritating to the ears. Hell-Cat has pulled out a current band that exemplifies all the best parts of reggae while still being modern. Individuals could conceivably hear this on a classics station, but there are enough nods to the current period that will allow listeners to easily pick up this disc and find something that they love in it. For fans of reggae or even of good music in general, The Aggrolites make a name for themselves on this disc. Here’s to hoping they can cut more solid CDs like this in the future.

Top Tracks: Countryman Fiddle, The Volcano

Rating: 6.8/10

[JMcQ]

The Aggrolites – S/T / 2006 Hellcat / 19 Tracks / http://www.aggroreggae.com / http://www.hell-cat.com /

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