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Forces 1977-1982

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Album Review

In the late '70s and early '80s, the legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry left his longtime studio band, the Upsetters, behind and traveled extensively in the U.S. and U.K., hooking up with various ensembles for brief (and often tumultuous) periods. He forged one such brief partnership with a white New York punk-reggae band called the Terrorists; their project produced a number of live performances and one 12" single, both sides of which are presented here: "Love Is Better" and " Guerrilla Priest" (a dub version featuring typically disjointed toasting by Perry). The rest of the band's work collected here is of uneven quality, though it is sometimes inspired. There are some excellent examples of homespun dub, such as "Anittoo" and the Clash-influenced "Drainidge." There is also an interesting rendition of the roots classic "Fade Away," about which the best that can be said is that Ray de Angel is no worse a singer than Ari Up. Ska legend Roland Alphonso guests on saxophone on several tracks, but is frankly not at his best. Overall, this is a useful document of an important punk-reggae phenomenon, but not necessarily an essential purchase for most reggae fans.

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