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Rage and Fury

Steel Pulse

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Album Review

At the time of this album's release, Steel Pulse's core membership had dwindled to three: drummer Steve "Grizzly" Nesbitt, keyboardist Selwyn "Bumbo" Brown, and singer/guitarist David Hinds. The band's sound, however, remains tight and heavy, laying the electronic sheen of modern dancehall over the heavyweight one-drop beat and conscious lyrics of classic roots reggae. Steel Pulse may never again achieve the inspired heights of their earlier work (particularly the stunning Tribute to the Martyrs and the hooky, forward-looking True Democracy), but Rage and Fury shows that no one needs to write the band any epitaphs just yet. "Role Model" rocks with a solid hip-hop/reggae groove and features a fine cameo by DJ Mega Banton; Jukie Ranks contributes to the equally hard "I Spy." The mood is lightened considerably by a cover (perhaps not entirely necessary) of Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl," but things get heavy again quickly with an updated version of "Ku Klux Klan" (originally recorded on Handsworth Revolution, Steel Pulse's debut album), which appears again in a jungle remix at the album's end. Highly recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Steel Pulse were one of Britain's greatest reggae bands, rivaled only by Aswad in terms of creative and commercial success. Generally a protest-minded Rastafarian outfit, Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience among white U.K. punks as well. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. As the '80s wore on, slick synthesizers and elements...
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Rage and Fury, Steel Pulse
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