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Album Review

Dub Trio's 2005 debut was a wild and frenetic exploration of live dub techniques applied to a variety of reggae and reggae-derived compositions, with strong hints of rock and metal thrown into the mix. Over the course of several subsequent albums, their sonic focus has gradually narrowed; they now sound like a metal band with dub tendencies. IV is a monument to the riff — sometimes the sludgy Black Sabbath riff, sometimes the skronk-metal downtown-New-York-circa-1985 riff (skronkheads of a certain age will hear more than a hint of vintage Massacre on several tracks here). And there are even times when the band seems to nod at death metal: "Swarm" starts out sounding particularly downtown, but by the end starts feeling like an invocation of the Demon from the Pit. In fact, the album's first four tracks all share a rather claustrophobic, blunt-instrument-to-the-head quality that some will find exhilarating and others simply exhausting. But by "Ends Justify the Means," the sounds starts to open up a bit; a wah-wah-wah dubstep bassline bubbles up from the bottom, and the drumbeats turn spare and stark with subtle dubwise echoes. "Words" starts out rather dreary, struggling to move forward like a beached walrus, but then suddenly opens up into nimbler, dubbier territory again. "1:1.618" features the first really interesting noises of the program, a pastiche of percussion sounds with subtle effects. Then "Thousand Mile Stare" wraps everything up by revisiting virtually every sound and style on the program in sequence, to startlingly cool effect. Established fans will be thrilled by this album; newcomers who wonder why the band is called "Dub Trio" may want to start from the beginning of the band's growing catalog.


Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Noise metal and dub are usually not two musical genres that go hand in hand. But then again, Dub Trio is not your ordinary band. Specializing in almost exclusively instrumental material, the group is comprised of guitarist D.P. Holmes, bassist Stuart Brooks, and drummer Joe Tomino. It should come as no surprise that all three members are extremely skilled players and much sought after sessionmen. In fact, the lists of who they've played with sounds like a who's who of the biggest names in the hip-hop...
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IV, Dub Trio
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