As champions of Brooklyn's legendary "underground" music scene, Dub Is a Weapon have labored in the trenches for over 10 years. Dub Is a Weapon features the talents of longtime members Dave Hahn (guitar / dub mixing), Larry McDonald (percussion), and Ben Rogerson (rhythm guitar/bass). This core is complemented by Maria Eisen (tenor sax), Madhu Siddappa (drums), Brian Jackson (keys) and Dan Jeselsohn (bass). With such widely varied instrumentation, the nine compositions on "Vaporized" prove to be varied, sonically interesting affairs. The tracks fuse old school reggae, hip hop, dance hall, and dub to provide rich, varied soundscapes. These concoctions display deft work on saxophone, on guitar, and from the rhythm section. Excellent production qualities make for a "warm" sounding record.
"Turbulence" splashes out of the gates with confident, assured grooves and wailing saxophones. The aptly named "Turmoil" follows, using loping saxophone and inexorable rhythms to blend a truly wicked concoction. "Seven Doors" slides into focus, exhibiting frolicking keyboards and head-thumping bass, calling us to the cathedral with a splash of New Orleans funk. The incipient notes of "Asheville" saunter by; ethereal saxophone contributes nicely to a disjointed soundscape. "Forwarding Home" ratchets up the intensity, sounding like a dancehall "call to arms." This track raises the stakes, and guitar and vocals contribute to the sense of urgency.
"Persistence" begins with an aggressive beat and driving rhythm, and peppers this mix with saxophone and electronic embellishment. The frantic insistence of this track strikes an interesting contrast with "Curva Peligrosa," which meanders loosely under the strength of muscular guitar. As with all the tracks on this sonically challenging album, the texture of this track morphs throughout the song. Yearning guitar careens through the latter measures of the track, flexing its muscles. "Destiny" strikes a lovely pose, establishing some nice "call and response" bass lines, and splashing them with guitar. In fusing aggressive rhythms, swirling saxophone and electronic accentuation together, the album closes evocatively with "Insurrection."
The nine tracks presented on "Vaporized" display an elegant
mix of guitar, saxophone, and dub mixing skills. The tracks morph from subtle roots to
extroverted finales, utilizing a dazzling array of textures and styles along
- J. Evan Wade